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J-E school board met with silent protest, still votes to appeal court cases

The Jordan-Elbridge school board voted to appeal two State Supreme Court decisions at Wednesday night's meeting in the high school cafeteria. This following a tremendous show of resistance from a roomful of community members, who stood silently holding signs inscribed with the message "VOTE NO" as both votes took place.

Many urged against a vote of "yes" during the public comments session, where around 25 people spoke. Among them was Tim Schutt, who has a daughter in ninth grade at J-E.

"I am standing here tonight to appeal to the six board members whose terms are not ending this year," Schutt said. "My appeal to you is based on my belief that despite all that has happened, we are still more similar than we are different. I stand here to encourage you to make anew this very evening, and to make a break from this horrific state of affairs that we find ourselves in."

Schutt spoke on the court decisions as well as interim superintendent Larry Zacher's decision on Monday to bar suspended principal David Zehner from attending board meetings and activities on school property without his written permission.

"Tonight, you are voting on two recent rulings from Judge Greenwood, then you need to decide whether to retain the status quo and allow a fellow taxpayer to be singled out and banned from a meeting because the powers at be disagreed with what he said. You may not be able to address this tonight, but you need to weigh it very carefully," Schutt said. "You are attempting to hold water in your fist, and the tighter you grip it, the more it's gonna slip through your fingers."

Schutt said the appeal of the case won by Zehner appeared, "to the lay person, to be little more than a pointless war of egos. You're poised to gamble again with taxpayer money, and for what purpose? To prove you were right? To avoid taking a class on open government? Frankly, I think that both the board of education and the community would benefit from a better understanding of open government and as a taxpayer, I ask that you please stop taking money out of the classroom and handing it to lawyers."

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