To say emotions were raw following the death of a teenager who reportedly committed suicide would be an understatement, based on the reaction of one father.
A parent was discussing bullying during the public comments segment of a Fairfield, Ohio school board meeting Thursday, in the aftermath of the death of 13-year-old Emilie Olsen, who took her own life in Dec. 2014, according to WCPO.
(Olsen’s parents alleged that bullying at school was a factor in their daughter’s suicide, but a police investigation did not find any evidence to support the claim.)
Joan Parrett, who has a daughter in 5th grade, was in the middle of an impassioned statement when her allotted time ran out, WCPO reported.
“You’ve exceeded your time, so if you could begin to wrap it up,” board president Jerome Kearns told the mother of two.
Some parents felt Kearns was being insensitive.
“Come on, give her some more time,” shouted Ray Schmitz, the father of two Fairfield students. “This is important. This is the only important thing we’ve talked about tonight. Quit hiding from it.”
Parrett was allowed to continue, but wrapped up her remarks by posing a question to the board. Kearns explained that the time set aside for public comments was not a “forum to get into debates,” ensuring her that her comments were “duly noted.”
“That would be a change,” Schmitz called out.
The board attempted to go on with the night’s agenda, but Schmitz erupted.
“I can’t believe you guys would bury your head in the sand like that!” he said, rising to his feet. “Shame on you guys!”
He was told to be quiet or leave.
“I want you to leave! You!” Schmitz screamed. “Leave our district. Our kids deserve more than that. Our kids deserve better than you guys. We can vote you guys out the next election, but this guy needs to go.”
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