BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot School Board hosted a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss a possible “open meeting law violation” during its February meeting.
From the very beginning of the meeting, it was noted that trustee Sonya Harris, who has been very critical of the board recently, apologized to Amy White, the main presenter for the meeting and an attorney from the law firm Anderson, Julian, Hull, LLP, of Boise on the Board Duties and Authority and the open meeting laws of the state.
Harris stated: “I apologize for this meeting as I feel it may have been my fault for it being called. I am sorry that you had to be here to present this to us.”
Throughout the lengthy presentation, Harris spent a good portion of the time asking questions and getting clarification on the board’s responsibility and also clarification of the Idaho open meeting law.
What ended up transpiring was a lengthy, but necessary educational process presented by White.
Following the training session, which lasted over two hours, there was some discussion from the public as Wes Jensen, principal of Mountain View Middle School, expressed his appreciation for all of the work being done by the board and Superintendent Brian Kress to ensure that the district works to maintain safety standards and financial stability for all involved.
Jensen noted that he is not only a principal but the parent of three students in the district and was emotional about what he stated regarding the improvements that he has seen at the hands of the superintendent and the school board.
Also speaking in the public forum portion of the meeting was Kathy Law, who read a letter from members of each school in the district, including the high school, middle school, sixth grade Heritage school, and every elementary school within the district.
The letter is here in its entirety:
“As Blackfoot School District employees, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our school board members for their hard work and dedication. We support you wholeheartedly. Working together, amazing accomplishments are taking place in our schools every day.
As Board members, you have crafted a working relationship with superintendents, teachers, support staff, and administrators based on mutual respect, trust, and a unified commitment to student success.
As district employees and community members, we appreciate that you have established a strong structure of communication and transparency. Your dedication to inform and engage all stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals is recognized and valued. Our well-established, positive culture of learning is possible as a result of your leadership and perseverance.
Our students and community need you! We need you!”
The reading the letter was greeted with a warm round of applause as the meeting came to a close.