Members of the Wilber-Clatonia School Board issued an apology letter to its student body at its Jan. 20 meeting, following an issue of discretion at last month’s meeting. 

During its Dec. 16 session, the board addressed a letter sent to board member Gary Wooten regarding his behavior during a private event at the school. 

The letter, sent by students, claimed Wooten made some feel uncomfortable and intimidated when making remarks during the school’s Multicultural Day Oct. 23. 

A number of students were present when board president Bob Sykes read the apology letter aloud, signed by all members except for Wooten. 

“We apologize to all the students and staff for the disruptions to their learning event,” Sykes read. “We deeply regret (Wooten’s) choice to disrupt this learning event.”

Further action on the issue was not taken, as Wooten was not present and board members agreed they would like to hear from him. 

During the Dec. 16 meeting, Wooten said he was unaware of any wrongdoings and supports a culturally diverse learning environment for students. 

Shortly after receiving the students letter, however, Wooten replied with his own message. 

“Without further specifics, I cannot comment on nor answer to the statements in your letter,” Wooten wrote. 

The school’s code of ethics was discussed and it was decided the board’s policy committee will review current policies and procedures. 

The question of what it means to be a school board member was also talked about. 

“We can no longer randomly choose when or where we wish to be considered a Board of Education member and must conduct ourselves accordingly,” the letter read. 

The board will wait to hear from Wooten at its Feb. 17 meeting and would like to hear from students at a later date. 

“We are here for the school,” board member Tim Riechers said. 

Also during the meeting, track resurfacing bids were discussed. A bid was awarded to Midwest Tennis and Track for $129,815. 

The board also approved the resignation of para Tricia Page and new members to the Foundation Board, those being Josh Heller and Chris Linhart. Glenna Heller has resigned and the board will look for a replacement. 

The next Wilber-Clatonia Board of Education meeting will be Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

hope@sewardindependent.com

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