A Springboro school district parent called for school board President Kelly Kohls’s resignation Thursday in response to the board’s decision to invite two groups to the district that critics say will teach a religious spin on the U.S. Constitution.
The call for Kohls’ resignation came during a discussion of plans to bring in the National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS) and Institute on the Constitution for summer classes open to all residents.
Carlene Staton Hamilton said Kohls’ roles with the Warren County Tea Party and the Ohio School Board Leadership Council created a conflict of interest in her duties on behalf of the Springboro school district.
“I request you resign your position as school board president immediately to eliminate this conflict of interest and allow this board to operate without the influence of your political aspirations and religious convictions,” Hamilton said.
Kohls said there is no financial gain for the groups or anyone else from the courses. Charges are limited to $35 for materials for the Institute on the Constitution course beginning in July and $15 for materials, lunch and drinks for the NCCS seminar in August.
Facilities use fees would be waived, as they are for parent teacher organizations and booster groups, Kohls said.
There was no action on Hamilton’s call for Kohls’ resignation.
Kohls joined board members Jim Rigano and and David Petroni in support of the courses. Board Member Don Miller said he was opposed and surprised to learn of the board sponsorship. Board member Wendy Kull was absent.
Also Thursday, Kohls announced a tentative agreement with the Springboro Classified Employees Association (SCEA), the union representing bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other non-teaching staff. If approved by the members, the employees would receive $1,000 stipends and step raises for three of four years of the contract and pay 20 percent of health care costs, Kohls said. Union officials could not be reached.