The board had approved the contract on Tuesday, but with less unanimity than all five board members wanted: the unusual 3-2 vote split over a clause that two board members said was not giving Mittelstadt the job security she should have in an election year.
The Flagler County School Board is considering speech restrictions at its meetings that include comment cards before a person can speak and prohibiting references to staff, students or anyone in the district.
School Board member Colleen Conklin said to avoid any appearance of conflict and reduce difficulties for her colleagues, she would step back from board duties until the appointment of the new superintendent on March 17.
Stephen Furnari is one of the Conklin appointees to the Citizens Advisory Committee, and a representative of the ESE community. But he and three other Conklin appointees are being excluded from the committee now that Conklin is applying for superintendent.
School Board members Colleen Conklin and Andy Dance argued against the “circus” and divisiveness that would be invited if the board abandoned its custom of the last four decades and resumed opening meetings with prayers, ending a controversy began in August when Board Chairman Janet McDonald unexpectedly invited a pastor to offer an invocation.
Palm Coast’s Merrill Shapiro, a member of the national board of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, presented legal arguments at a talk Thursday against the Flagler County School Board’s potential return to starting meetings with invocations.
A divided Flagler County School Board has yet to decide whether and how to conduct invocations at the start of its meetings following Chairman Janet McDonald’s out-of-order introduction of a pastor and her invocation at the August meeting.
Opposition to the Flagler Health Department’s proposal to offer the HPV vaccine in schools is driven by three board members echoing the rhetoric of vaccine denialism though various irrational pretexts.
School Board Chair Janet McDonald’s decision to start Tuesday’s meeting with a prayer by a pastor had not been approved by the board nor placed on the agenda, a violation of board procedures and a break with a nearly 50-year precedent.
Janet McDonald, who chairs the Flagler County School Board through November, says she favors a broad search for the next superintendent but does not detect much interest from internal candidates to take on the job.