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Wichita students react to cancelled board meeting

Students are now calling on the school board to do better and asking the district to hold the elected members accountable.
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:40 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita School Board tried to meet for the first time in 2022, but it quickly ended after some school board members refused to wear masks.

Students like Andrew Le say he’s disappointed in the board and call the actions “childish.”

“They (students) want to see the board be held accountable, but they also want the board to actually function because this is a sign for what’s coming in the future. Will our board actually be productive? And if those board members continue to do what they’re doing, I really think that they should reconsider being on the board,” said Le.

Le was set to be recognized for academic achievements Monday night, but the celebration never happened after the school board president cancelled the meeting.

“It was a day to commemorate students. There were, I believe fourth-grade students there that were supposed to be commemorated for their artwork and excellence for the WPS school district. Not only that I believe the color guard was also there. And the Wichita Mayor’s Youth Council was also there to,” said Le.

Le and other students are now calling on the school board to do better and asking the district to hold the elected members accountable.

“I believe that we’ve lost respect for the Board of Education, in that sense, that if the board members are going to be childish and act more childish than even high school students, then why should we respect them in the first place?” Le questioned.

The school board rescheduled the meeting for next Tuesday, and students hope to come first in the next meeting.

“Instead of protesting, they should have actually had a productive civil discourse with other members because that’s what board meetings are for,” said Le.

Kathy Bond was one of the new board members who refused to wear a mask Monday night. She posted the following response on Facebook.

“As I navigate my way through the dynamics of last night’s cancelled School Board meeting, I want to share an insight. What a rocky beginning. I do believe there are seven smart, caring individuals who have the same goal in mind. Albeit, different ways to achieve them. It is my hope that this School Board will be able to move forward after last night and focus on the business at hand and make our student’s academic success our priority. Therefore, I will do what I must do, until I can do what I need to do.”

In a letter on Tuesday, BOE President Stan Reeser said board members who do not comply with the mask mandate can participate in next Tuesday’s meeting virtually, but they will not be able to vote.

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