High school board censures Trustee Campbell
The Nevada Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday voted to censure Trustee Linda Campbell, sending a public message that Campbell’s behavior in a series of recent incidents falls short of the board’s standards.
However, that message didn’t meet Campbell’s ears on Wednesday; she wasn’t present at the meeting, which was held at 6 p.m. at Silver Springs High School. Campbell did not ask the board to excuse her absence prior to the meeting, said Board President Katy Schwarz.
Campbell’s four fellow board members all voted in favor of the censure, which is not meant to slander Campbell, Schwarz said, but to send a strong message.
“We are elected officials and there is a right way to handle ourselves,” Schwarz said. “It is a reflection on your board members when you act inappropriately.”
The board questioned Campbell’s behavior on a few occasions, including a Sept. 10 incident in which Campbell reportedly confronted Erica Crane, the principal of district-authorized charter Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, in an “extremely agitated, aggressive and negative manner,” according to a letter Crane wrote to the board and district Superintendent Louise Johnson.
According to that letter, Campbell disparaged Crane’s preliminary administrative credential while claiming that SAEL’s “data and financials were bad” and “its accreditation invalid.”
The resolution passed by the board on Wednesday also referenced a June incident in which Campbell sent a threatening email to the Nevada County Tea Party — she later apologized — and an August incident in which she stormed out of a town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) after shouting that the congressman was spreading “propaganda” and “lies.”
In addition, it called Campbell out for being “regularly late” for scheduled board meetings without an excuse. Board Vice President Jim Adams, addressing the audience at the meeting, said Campbell has been on time for just two of the board’s meetings this year.
Board members expressed concern that Campbell’s actions violated board bylaws designed to ensure that board members govern responsibly, treat community members with respect and put the district’s needs ahead of partisan beliefs.
Trustee Marty Mortensen expressed his frustration with Campbell.
“I’ll be honest with you, I just can’t put up with it anymore,” Mortensen said.
He suggested that if Campbell’s behavior continues, it will make him reconsider serving in his role on the board.
“I’m just not in a position to accept that type of behavior,” he said.
Several members of the audience also expressed their concern during public comment.
“What I’ve been reading in the paper is embarrassing. It’s out of line,” said Grass Valley resident Eric Christen, suggesting that Campbell is not fit to serve in her position.
“This person does not have the capability right now for whatever reason to be on a school board,” he said.
The board censure is a largely symbolic gesture, and does not affect Campbell’s role on the board; however, Mortensen said he hopes Campbell takes the action seriously.
“I’m all for adopting this resolution and hope that she sees the error of her ways and becomes a more productive member of this board,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
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