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School system votes not to settle with parents
Sue Anderson.jpg
Sue Anderson

A settlement offer on pending litigation has been rejected by Warren County School Board members after the vote ended in a tie, 2-2.  

The Warren County School Board met Tuesday to discuss “approval of a proposed settlement in a due process case within our school system,” said School Board chair Tommy Culwell. 

Very few details regarding the lawsuit were given: it involves a male child and a nominal settlement offer. 

“I feel like we shouldn’t settle,” said School Board member Sue Anderson. “I feel like we’ve got the evidence that we need to go forward. I know it’s going to be costly, but I think we are setting an example if we settle.”

That example might be that the School Board will accept settlement offers rather than going to court on winnable cases. 

“Thanks for that, but I would like to bring out that we do have a child that we are talking about who is far from being 18, an adult,” said School Board member Tanya Bess. “I do think it’s a nominal amount that’s been requested in the settlement and you know, you have parents who seem willing to want to be engaged in this child’s education. They seem as if they want to move forward in doing what’s right in what will help this child. So, therefore, that’s how I came to my recommendation to settle.”

Culwell initiated a roll call vote, before stating his opinion. 

Bess and Helen Martin voted in favor of accepting the settlement offer, while Anderson and Culwell voted against accepting the settlement offer.

“I’m going to go with a no vote simply because I see both sides of it,” said Culwell. “I just get the feeling that they have been attracted by a lawyer that is attracted to cases like this and I think it’s important that we prove our innocence.” 

School Board members James Bennett and Bill Zechman were not in attendance. It was a special called meeting with only 24 hours notice given.