May 24, 2024

MYC Speaks Out About USD 259 BOE Meeting

On January 10th, 2022, there was a meeting held at North High School and within 3 minutes, it was cancelled.

Newly elected board members, Kathy Bond, Diane Albert, and Hazel Stabler refused to wear their masks when asked, resulting in President Stan Reeser dismissing the meeting. The meeting was held to celebrate students working with the Mayor’s office and was also a ceremony to swear in the three new board members.

Students of USD 259 spoke out about how disappointed and shocked they were with the behavior of Bond, Albert, and Stabler.

Andrew Le, a senior at Southeast High School, stated, “I think what happened at tonight’s board meeting was a disservice to the students and teachers they serve, as well as the parents. So many WPS students were going to get recognized, you know, students to which the board members who refused to mask, represent! Spanning from elementary school students to high school students such as those on the Wichita Mayor’s Youth Council. Because of their petty politics, selfish, and ignorant behavior, they had to suspend the meeting and didn’t actually focus on any issues we need to address. It frustrated me the most that parents had the audacity to walk up to those members and call them “heroes, that are standing up for the right thing.” It’s an embarrassment and a disappointment that the BOE has developed into this political game. If what they did was standing up for what is right, the district really needs to reevaluate it’s values.” Le continued onto social media, urging other students to speak up and share their opinion.

Other students on the Mayor Youth Council, such as Alexandria Butler and Truc Dao, shared their thoughts. “The simple question is, what will become of USD 259? Who knew a pandemic would become a political battle down to the health of our youth. Respect for front line workers and teachers risking their lives for us to even attend meetings and such. Having 3 of our BOE members not able to follow protocol for simply wearing a mask is truly disheartening for future students and leaders. Respect has been diminished for and in result endangers is all.” said Butler, a senior at Northwest High School. “Being on the board of education, you serve to lead the younger generations, yet what we saw as students yesterday, sitting in the back was completely different. As a Mayor’s Youth Council member, we were asked along with much younger elementary schoolers to come out and let the board recognize us for our work, but instead we were met by childish behaviors from adults themselves. What is a simple request that even preschoolers follow, 3 of our BOE members could not follow. Medical staffs have been work tirelessly everyday since this pandemic started for the sake of the people. Students and teachers wear their face mask for a nonstop 8 hours everyday, as board members simply complying and wearing a face mask for the duration of the meeting was all that was a requested. The future of USD 259 worries me.” Dao, a senior at South High School, voiced.

Following the topic, board members Bond, Albert, and Stabler have called a special meeting to discuss the mask mandates in schools and COVID protocols on Thursday, February 17th, 2022.

Petition filled by Bond, Albert, and Stabler