Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Ann Arbor School Board has again condemned trustee social media use by Ann arbor School board

Ann Arbor School Board has again condemned trustee social media use by Ann arbor School board

Members of the Ann Arbor School Board are fed up with Jeff Gaynors use of social media to discuss their company, and have voted to sever the trustee.

Gaynor was ccused 6-1 at its Wednesday, Oct. 13, meeting, with Gayror voting the only dissenting vote. Gaynor is also urged to leave all committee assignments by the board president, according to the resolution.

Following the boards unsuccessful attempt to censure Gaynor and remove him as board secretary in 2019, the decision follows a successful attempt by the Board to terminate Gaymanor as he left office. However, the board voted in July 2020 to revoke him as board secretary for his social media use.

Censuring a board member is merely reprimand used by s/he to express condemnation or harsh criticism, but it does not affect he/shes duties.

In the resolution of trustees Susan Baskett and Ernesto Querijero on Wednesday, Gaynor claims that he publicly disclosed the contents of closed session discussions on personnel issues and publicly shared closed sessions discussions about collective bargaining and real estate purchases on social media.

When Gaynor asked for more evidence on the allegations, board President Bryan Johnson informed him that the motion isnt a trial and was related to board governance.

Board Vice President Jessica Kelly said that while the specifics of the alleged Open Meetings Act violations are known to the board, they could not be discussed for the simple reason of confidentiality.

Kelly said he understands why certain parts of that feel vague because information protected by the (Open Meetings Act) cannot be read into the record because its confidential. But everyone in this room who has access to those confidential briefings weve received on those various topics is familiar with what the evidence is, she added.

Gaynor said he assumes everything a person writes on Facebook is accessible to the public and stands behind what . Without being able to elaborate on how his social media usage violated the Open Meetings Act, despite being asked to provide specific examples of how 'he's done that,' Sullivan said that if tagging someone on his Facebook account violates the Act.

Meetings and comments on Facebook are intended to inform the community about issues that concern the school district and clarify certain issues, Gaynor said. Sometimes, I give my personal opinion. Im also eager to learn from others so that I may have as much information as I can when I need it to make decisions.

Gaynors social media behavior was questioned in late September by Querijero, who claimed Gaysor had violated his oath to boardmanship by sharing unspecified information on social networks, noting it had been a pattern of similar behavior for the trustee.

Querijero criticized Gaynor for leaving a September board training session, while noting the communications he shared hurt the board as unified, and Queriderhe requested Gay no longer be on all board committees.

Several community members spoke during public comment to support what they described as Gaynors commitment to open communication, which the district has not shown on several crucial issues.

Gail Weber said, I truly value the information he shares and I believe that what a young man shares is appropriate for public awareness. He helps the community stay informed of what will be discussed at upcoming board meetings, which increases our involvement and participation in our childrens education.

I feel the majority of the board maintains a culture of silence, followed by major decisions that seem to come from nowhere. It is unfair and inappropriate to keep families in the dark about important decisions until after everything has been decided in closed sessions.

In 2019, some AAPS board members expressed concern and disapproval about Gaynor's interactions with an elementary school student, which resulted in a failed vote to censure him.

Gaynor then received a message from Superintendent Jeanice Swift stating that he would not have contact with the student or their parents if il resumed an email exchange with him in August 2019.

Gaynor said he was later contacted by the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Office, which relayed the parents request that if a contact with their daughter was necessary, despite Gayor saying. He was later interviewed about the communications by school district attorney Bill Blaha, who sent a 63-page report on the investigation to the school board.

The boards Bylaws, Board Policies, or Laws were not violated, Gaynor said, and the conclusion of the study supported that the email exchange was not a violation of board policies, procedures, nor laws.

READ MORE:

Social media use cited as reason why Ann Arbor School Board secretary was resigned from office.

Ann Arbor school board member's censure vote drew a slam.

AAPS board rejects land easement sale for housing development. Trustee wonders why no discussion on truste es not taking place.

You may also like: