Special meeting will focus on Endres' conduct

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BELOIT - Four Beloit school board members have called a special meeting today that may result in disciplinary action against board president Laurie Endres.

The School District of Beloit Board of Education is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. today to discuss Endres' conduct in her role as board president. The agenda includes one item about "discussion of board president conduct with possible action up to and including removal from board president position."

The meeting is public and will be held in Kolak Education Center, Room 106, 1633 Keeler Ave.

The board received an email Friday from interim superintendent Darrell Williams informing the board of several incidents the members felt needed to be addressed by the full board, according to information from board members Kyle Larsen and Pam Charles.

Larsen added Williams had shared some emails between him and Endres which Williams wanted the board to discuss.

On Saturday, Charles said she and board members David Wilson, Kyle Larsen and Wendy Sanchez requested the meeting be held. Policy states when four board members request a meeting, it must be scheduled.

Larsen said he did an open records request for the emails between Williams and Endres. He said he wanted to get an accurate picture of the total email exchange to be fair to both parties involved. Larsen said he is expecting the full board to receive all the emails by the time the meeting is held.

The Beloit Daily News is asking for copies of all pertinent emails, under Wisconsin's Public Records Law, which states such records are considered open particularly when it involves elected officials like Endres or persons holding high appointed offices, like Williams.

Larsen said he, Wilson, Sanchez and Charles were planning on attending today's meeting. Vice President Kris Klobucar would not be attending as she is out of town, Larsen said, and he didn't know if Shelly Cronin would be in attendance. Cronin did not respond to calls from the newspaper.

When the Beloit Daily News contacted Endres to ask if she would be at the meeting, she said "no."

Endres did issue the following statement: "I find it frustrating that certain members of this board want to bicker and fight among themselves instead of focusing on the real educational issues that are impacting our kids. I am proud of the high expectations I have for myself and those engaged in educating our students."

In addition to issues addressed in Williams' email, Charles said she had other concerns she wanted to discuss at the meeting such as the way Endres changed the public participation rules without any board discussion or board decision at the last business meeting.

In the June 26 business meeting, Endres started off the meeting by saying people would be limited to three minutes during the public comment portion of the session unless they needed an interpreter, a point which was challenged by several of the speakers. Endres also said no citizen would be allowed to give another citizen three minutes of their speaking time. However, later in the meeting Endres allowed New Zion Baptist Church Pastor James Ivy to speak longer.

In an interview following the meeting, citizen Dorothy Harrell said she intended to contact the Wisconsin Association of School Boards about the rules limiting public comment without notice and then changing the rules back in the middle of the meeting disadvantaging her and her ability to speak. She said she will also consider filing a complaint with the Wisconsin Attorney General.

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