Lawsuit against Gadsden City school board members ordered to mediation – News – Gadsden Times – Alabama News

Lawsuit against Gadsden City school board members ordered to mediation – News – Gadsden Times – Alabama News

The lawsuit brought by three parents with children in Gadsden City Schools will go to a mediator after a judge’s order last month.


In an order July 25, Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree ordered the case to mediation, meaning efforts must be made to iron out the issues raised in the lawsuit behind closed doors.


The parents — Xavier Smith, William Haller and Taylor Holland — sued the four board members as individuals claiming they violated the state’s Open Meetings Law, and that they violated the School Board Governance Act of 2012.


Current board members Frank Cylar, Wayne Watts and Deborah Howard and former board member Lynn Taylor were named in the lawsuit.


The lawsuit came after a June 6 board meeting where the four named in the lawsuit voted to start a national search for a new superintendent, effectively giving notice that Superintendent Ed Miller’s contract would not be renewed after it expires at the end of August.


Three other members of the school board voiced objections at the meeting, saying they’d not been consulted about the action, that it was not on the board’s agenda for the meeting and indicating a belief that the other board members had met without them to discuss the action.


The plaintiffs lawsuit said the “Defendants have further conspired among themselves and with others to interfere with the legal and orderly administration and operation of the Gadsden City School system and with the contract of the Superintendent.”


The judge’s order allows the parties 14 days to select a mediator by agreement, then the matter is to be submitted for mediation within 90…

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