District 7 school board meeting July 15, 2021
The school board met to decide the fates of Katie Medart, science teacher, and Rachel Damiano, assistant principle, of North Middle School. Superintendent Kirk Kolb suggested terminating them and hired an “independent” investigator, whose investigation results have not been released to the public. The board voted 4-3 to terminate Rachel and Katie for making a video that suggests solutions to the problem of dealing with gender dysphoria in students. I Resolve Movement: Response to Gender Identity Policies – YouTube Rachel and Katie are accused of using school resources to make the video and of claiming to represent our school district. Nowhere in the video is Grants Pass, Josephine county or North Middle School mentioned, and Rachel and Katie don’t claim to represent the school.
I attended Rachel’s hearing, and it lasted about 1 ½ hours. Much of the time was taken up by the school district’s attorney, but because of the poor sound system, I couldn’t understand most of what she said. I did hear her say that teachers on the school grounds have no first amendment rights. School superintendent Kirk Kolb was there but didn’t testify. Board member Gary Richardson made some good points about why Rachel and Katie shouldn’t be fired.
The whole experience of watching the hearing infuriated me. It looks to me like Rachel and Katie are sacrificial lambs.
The votes were are follows:
Scott Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org for termination
Gary Richardson email@example.com against termination
Debbie Brownell firstname.lastname@example.org for termination
Cassie Wilkins email@example.com against termination
Brian DeLagrange firstname.lastname@example.org for termination
Todd Neville against termination
Cliff Kuhlman email@example.com for termination
Cliff Kuhlman apparently couldn’t hear much and seemed not to know what was going on. Someone took him aside and told him how to vote
By Heidi Napier.