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3/14/2019
School Board meeting delayed

By SAM ALLEN
Daily News Staff Writer

The Ketchikan School Board met as scheduled Wednesday evening — however, after a public comment period and quick comments from board members, the meeting adjourned.

No official business was addressed or acted upon.

"It was brought to my attention that our agenda for tonight may not have been sent to board members in time to satisfy our School Board bylaw requirements," said Matt Eisenhower, School Board president.

The bylaw states that copies of the agenda must be sent to all board members at least three days before each regular meeting date.

The agenda was provided at 11 a.m. Monday, two hours after the start of the business day, so Eisenhower said the three full business days were not fulfilled.

"I also want to apologize to the board for this,” he said. “At the core, this is our meeting to do the business of the district."

He also apologized to members of the public who had come to listen to the meeting.

Since none of the agenda items were considered time sensitive by the board, a special meeting wasn't considered, and all items were pushed to the regularly scheduled School Board meeting on March 27.

Items on the delayed agenda were approval of contracts for two new school principals and consideration of the resignation of School Board Member Glen Thompson.

At the start of the meeting, the board recognized the Tsunami Bowl state champions, the Ketchikan High School Saber Tooth Salmon. The academic group wrote and presented a 15-page research paper and answered questions about the ocean during the competition in Seward. The School Board applauded their accomplishments and passed around their trophy. They will head to nationals mid-April.

During the public comment section, Christina Weber, whose child attends Houghtaling Elementary School, urged the School Board to do something about the transmission of bed bugs between students at the school. She said this week she received a bed bug notification letter from the school for the third time this school year.

"I don't think that it's fair that I have to be concerned, every day, if my child is going to come home from school and get bed bugs." Weber said.

Terri Robbins urged the School Board members to do their jobs and not to resign just because things aren't going how they want them to go.

"I am here respectfully to ask you all to fulfill the duties and responsibilities you accepted when you were sworn into office and represent the concerns of your constituents to the best of your ability," she said.

Pete Arntzen spoke about Robert Boyle. Arntzen expressed his disapproval of how the School Board has handled Boyle's departure in the wake of a now-former Kayhi teacher convicted of sexual abuse of a minor. He said that giving Boyle a free pass affects the students in Ketchikan and all children where Boyle works next. Arntzen demanded the release of a full report detailing the sexual abuse incidents involving the former teacher,  and how they were handled.

The next scheduled school board meeting is March 27 and open to the public.