CHARDON, Ohio — Newly elected Chardon School Board member Todd Albright was the topic of conversation inside Monday’s Chardon School Board meeting.
Parents, staff members and students packed into Chardon Middle School ready to discuss Albright’s actions from late last month.
According to a letter sent to Chardon Schools’ community members on Sept. 13, on Aug. 31 Albright, superintendent Michael Hanlon, and the middle school and high school principals, met at the corner of Allynd Drive and North Street to observe what Albright believed to be a violation of dress code and lack of enforcement in the schools.
The letter stated that Hanlon and the principals did so at the request of Albright, despite Hanlon stating the dress codes were enforced at both schools.
But the actions of Albright were met with public outcry and outrage.
“I think I should be able to sit in class and do my work because that’s what I would be doing if I wasn’t worried about adults worrying about my body all day,” said junior Lily Dalton.
Parent Clara Manfredi said she feels like Albright’s actions were inappropriate and out of his realm of responsibilities.
“He was pointing out students, off school property, outside of school hours, when they had already changed to walk home in the hot weather,” she said.
Monday, before the public comment section of the meeting even began, board president Karen Blankenship said that she believed Albright’s actions were a violation of board conduct.
“Board members do not manage day-to-day operations of a school district,” she said to the crowd. “Since individual board members are not authorized to act on behalf of the board, unless an open public session or when specifically vested with such authority, it would be considered to be unacceptable conduct for board members.”
She said that Albright’s own videos he posted to YouTube, in which he criticized and questioned the school curriculum, violated board conduct as well.
She asked members of the board and the superintendent to go into a private executive session to discuss how to move forward.
After about half an hour, board members returned, and Blankenship stated they would vote on a resolution to censure Albright and to send him to the state board of education training. The resolution passed as all board members who were present, but Albright, voted yes.
Throughout the entire meeting, Albright did not make a public comment, but some members of the crowd spoke up and said that they supported his actions.