OLATHE, Kan. — Months later, an Olathe school board member remains on censure after board members delay a decision.
The Olathe Board of Education censured member Brian Connell in May for acting out and breaking decorum during meetings.
At Thursday night’s meeting, the board voted 4-3 on an amendment to delay discussion until December 7 as to whether to reinstate Connell to full status.
Connell tried to get this same censure removed in September, proposing the resolution himself. That led to an argument between he and Board President Brad Boyd.
“There’s no way that I can support this,” Boyd said Sept. 7 during that meeting. “So, if you want to go back and next month bring another resolution with some clear language, some clean language, I’ll revisit that at that time, but today I can’t support this.”
“I’d like to respond Mr. President with a comment,” Connell replied.
“Sir? Seeing no other comments, can you take roll please on this vote?” Boyd then said.
“Sir, Mr. Boyd, you gave me an opportunity, I gave you an opportunity to speak. You have not produced an email to me of the resolution,” Connell then fired back.
“You do not have the floor. Mr. Connell, you do not have the floor,” Boyd responded.
In a vote of 5-2 after that argument, the board declined to remove Connell’s censure, which took him off active leadership of board committees.
Boyd, Joe Beveridge, Julie Steele, Shannon WIckliffe, and Dr. Stacey Yurkovich all voted to not remove the censure. Robert Kuhn and Connell voted to remove it.
On Thursday night, Connell said he expected a different outcome.
“Because it’s expedient. They’re running for election,” Connell said when asked if he thought Boyd and Yurkovich would flip their votes Thursday.
“I 100% guarantee you it is politically oriented because they’re going to be able to say, ‘See, he’s not under censure. You can’t say that,’ and every single media outlet that has inquired of candidates has included a question, ‘How do you feel about the censure of Mr. Connell back in May?'”
Boyd and Yurkovich do have opponents in this November’s school board races. There are two other board positions up for grabs that month as well.
“Every month I show up ready to listen and engage with my fellow board members and make the best decision that’s going to move our district forward,” Boyd said in an interview Thursday evening before the board meeting started at 5:45 p.m.
Future reviews on Connell would take place after the Dec. 7 vote.