Sherman explores whether board decisions were taken legally
The pandemic has disrupted the political life of another member of the Gibraltar School Board.
Angela Sherman resigned her seat, citing a loss of trust and respect for the board of directors within a week when she decided to move to concealment of my choice, and then reaffirmed that decision a few days later during a private meeting. Sherman believed that mass masking until late January was the best policy, and cast the only dissenting vote at each meeting.
“Up until this week, I can say that I am proud of the board of directors, but that pride has turned into distrust,” Sherman said in her formal resignation letter.
When contacted by phone, Sherman said her resignation was not based on the board’s decision to go into voluntary concealment.
“There were a lot of board decisions that I didn’t agree with and you don’t resign on them,” she said.
Instead, she lost faith in a panel that she believed had been pressured by some parents to abandon her past statements and practices to allow time for younger children to complete their vaccination series. As a result, she said, the board of directors has gone from being proactive during the pandemic to reacting to public opinion, elevating that opinion over public health advice.
She also has specific complaints about how The decisions were made during the past two board meetings and they explore whether this decision-making amounts to misdirections and potential errors in violation of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Act. She intends to work with the school district attorney on this and has already looked into how to file an inquiry about a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
“There was a lot that happened outside [open] Sherman said.
Additionally, she said, incorrect information was passed on during the December 13 meeting about the latest possible date when the closest children aged 5 to 11 would have completed their vaccinations. Once it was revealed that this was not true during the December 16 meeting, I thought the board, having been provided with the correct information, would postpone the date of the voluntary concealment to late January.
When the board instead reaffirmed its decision to immediately move to hide my choice for older students and through January 4 for younger students, “that was the last straw for me,” she said.
Sherman tendered her resignation on December 17. She doesn’t want her school-aged children to be bullied or ridiculed for continuing to wear the mask — unwilling to risk their exposure to the virus and bring it home to the family’s three-year-old — she and her husband pulled their kids out of school in favor of homeschooling.
Sherman was re-elected to her second term in office during the highly competitive April 2021 elections. She was the one with the most votes out of six candidates.
“One of the hardest things about resigning,” she said, “is that I let all these people down.”
But she also realized how the stress of the situation negatively affected her and her family’s health.
“There was a lot of talk about stress during my annual physical,” she said. Between my family and my health, I feel like I can’t act on it [school board] eligibility.”
Sherman is the second member of the Gibraltar School Board to resign during the pandemic. Mark Wiborg, a Gibraltar Long School board member, stepped down as president in April 2020, citing the pressures of the position.
Wiborg and Sherman are not alone. School board members across the country have come under pressure from a divided public during the pandemic. But if it’s worse in Wisconsin, it’s because it’s actually worse. Wisconsin saw more recall attempts in 2021 than all but California-11, according to Ballotpedia, although only a few of those got enough signatures to be included on the ballot.
Gibraltar School Board Chairman Stephen Seaver said in an email to peninsula pulse That the pandemic has raised issues that current school boards never anticipated.
“Campus closures, how distance education is, when and how children are brought back into in-person learning, and how school protocols are managed in the face of a divided public regarding concealment and immunization, put every member of the board at the center of a local public health debate,” Seaver said. “Board members everywhere and in Gibraltar schools have tried hard to make ‘better’ decisions for their schools and communities.”
Seyfer said he can’t comment on complaints Sherman has about his conduct or that of the board when making decisions because he doesn’t know what those complaints are. But he said he was “sad” about her resignation and considered it a loss to the school board.
“She is energetic, empathetic and passionate about educating children,” he said. “We will miss her voice.”
The district will follow the state’s legal process for filling vacancies on the school board via appointment by the remaining members. Sefer said the process will be explained to the public at the regularly scheduled board meeting on January 10.