Statement by Lakota Board of Education

Lakota Board of Education Update
Posted on 04/26/2021
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The following statement was read by School Board President Kelley Casper at the April 26, 2021 Board of Education meeting:

Two months ago, a lawsuit was filed against the Lakota Local School District Board of Education in Butler County state court. The lawsuit alleged that the Board of Education violated technical requirements of the Open Meetings Act by failing to produce sufficient meeting minutes and failing to notice committee meetings for a few of its meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board has never intentionally violated the law; and, in fact, it has always taken a number of steps to be entirely transparent with the Lakota community—including making videos of the Board’s meetings since 2014 available on the District’s website and YouTube channel that show all of the Board’s meetings, deliberations, and decisions.

 

Nonetheless, in an effort to preserve the District’s financial resources and quickly resolve this matter and move on, the Board approved an agreed judgment entry in the Butler County case. This entry acknowledges that the Board mistakenly and technically violated the Open Meetings Act. As a result, the Board will be forced to pay a civil forfeiture and attorney’s fees to the individual that sued the District.

 

The Board always desires to be transparent and open in its business. It will continue to do so. To ensure that the Board is entirely compliant with the law, it has undertaken an extensive audit of its policies and practices related to the Open Meetings Act and the Public Records Act. The Board has received updated training on Ohio’s Sunshine Laws and will continue to take all necessary steps to complete the District’s business in an open and transparent way.