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SJSD Meetings Continue After Complaint to Attorney General

School District committee meetings come on the first business day following an employee's complaint to the attorney general's office alleging Sunshine Law violations by the Board of Education.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District Board of Education continued the business of overseeing the district Monday following complaints the board violated sections of Missouri's Sunshine Law.

Several committee meetings were held as scheduled despite the fact that the leadership-level employee was sitting at the same table with those he has accused.

On Friday, Director of Human Resources Doug Flowers filed an official complaint with the attorney general's office, claiming certain emails were not turned over following a Sunshine Law open records request. In the complaint, Flowers specifically singled out board member Chris Danford for many of the problems.

"To my knowledge, we have not violated these policies," said board president Dan Colgan said. "If we find that we have, we want to share information appropriately with the public. We will certainly do our best to change the process."

During meetings, board members talked finance, curriculum/instruction and personnel issues.

The district's food service contract from Oopa! Foods was considered for renewal. The board listened to a presentation on the need for an expansion of the schools' ESOL english program for students who speak other languages. Also, there was a consideration to begin a middle school wrestling program.

In between topics, the board met in closed session with their legal counsel for nearly two hours. It was explained that the session was necessary to discuss a personnel issue among other items.

Despite the length of the meeting, the board emerged with no actionable items.

"I know what it looks like and I know that it appears like there's a great deal of unhappiness right now," Colgan said. "But, children are first."

Colgan says he hopes the attorney general's office will find no Sunshine Law violations within the school district.
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