Willamston’s school board gets down to business despite rising election tensions

Despite rising tensions around a re-vote of Williamston school board over a trans-inclusive bathroom rule, the Oct. 1 meeting was business as usual. The board focused on working to get a passenger van, approve the construction of a dividing wall to separate a section of the gym for the wrestling team and review the goals of the board and its respective progress. The decision between whether to vote for new board members or re-vote for the same members over a rule passed by the current school board which attempted to be more inclusive for transgender students in the district. The rule wanted to lay out a rule that would allow students who identify as transgender to use the appropriate school facilities during the school day according to their gender identiry, which has become a divisive topic at previous school board meetings overshadowing other work being done at the meetings.

Federal lawsuit looks for ‘adjunctive relief,’ transgender school policies still important debate in Williamston

After months of deliberation and a slew of meetings trademarked with passionate arguments, the Williamston Community Schools Board of Education passed a pair of policies in November 2017 in relation to transgender youth and their definition, among other guidelines. And despite passing months ago, the debate surrounding the policies have yet to go away. Currently, there’s a pending federal lawsuit that names six of seven Williamston Board of Education members as defendants: Greg Talberg, Christopher Lewis, Sarah Belanger, Nancy Deal, Kathy Hayes and Joel Gerring. The seventh member of the board at the time, Jeffrey West, was the lone vote against the policies, which the school board passed 6-1. He is not named in the lawsuit.

Deal, Grant and Lewis win school seats

By Katie Krall and Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

Nancy Deal, Timothy Grant and Christopher Lewis won 6-year seats on Williamston’s school board Tuesday. Deal pulled away with 22.25 percent of votes. Grant secured 17.17 percent of votes and Lewis finished with 14.85 percent. After the election is certified, the candidates will need to sign documents accepting their positions, but the three new board members won’t begin their terms until January. Deal said that when she heard the news, she was excited.

School board candidates make their cases

By Katie Krall and Tiago Zielske
The Williamston Post

Vacant seats on the school board in Williamston will be filled Nov. 4. Three of the six candidates will win 6-year terms. One candidate has dropped out of the race for a 6-year term seat, so there will be seven names on the ballot. Jeffrey S. West is running uncontested for a 4-year term. Each of the six active candidates for 6-year seats talks about their qualifications and aspirations as a school board member.