Parents file petition hoping to oust all 5 Northshore school board members

The frustration over in-person learning is boiling over in the Northshore School District now that a group of parents are trying to oust the entire school board.

The petition to recall all 5 members was submitted to the King County Election Services Friday. If a judge approves the petition to move forward, parents can collect signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.

Five parents are behind the dramatic move including Dominique France who is the main organizer.

The parents said there was no question that the district and board acted appropriately by shutting everything down at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. But since then, with more information surfacing about COVID-19 and state guidelines changing, parents say the board failed to evolve with them.

RELATED: Seattle school district, teachers' union reach tentative agreement for 6-12 grade in-person learning

France is accusing board members of not diligently trying to bring kids back in person compared to other school districts.

"Recall petition of about 21 pages," France said.

 Dominique and four others are named as petitioners including Eve Jakoboski.

Both pulled their kids out of the Northshore School District saying they were frustrated over the lack of movement to bring kids back in person.

They say only a very limited number of students this past year has received in-person learning compared to other districts that have managed to serve many more in the classroom.

RELATED: Seattle families growing frustrated with impasse between teachers and school district

As of Friday, Northshore School District was serving 106 students inside a classroom.  The district says 22 families with special needs children opted out of in-person services.

"The board in its entirety is negligent of implementing the curriculum and the law," France said.

Even though in-person learning is expanding for all schools due to the governor’s mandate starting next week, France says NSD’s plan is still providing less time in the classroom compared to other neighboring districts.

 "We are on excuse number 5, stop with the excuses, find solutions, every other district has figured this out in compliance with guidelines that's coming from the governor," France said.

Jakoboski said her daughter is autistic and needs special education, she blames the lack of adequate schooling this year as the reason why her daughter now has to repeat a grade.

 "We are finding out now that she can’t proceed from 3rd to 4th grade because she is not getting the educational services," Jakoboski said.

Jakoboski said she requested in-person learning from the district but was denied.

"My child needs to go to public school, my child needs the support that comes from special needs through IEP," Jakoboski said.

The Northshore School Board President Bob Swain released a statement in response:

"On behalf of all of the members of the Northshore School District Board of Directors, I am very disappointed with the filing of the recall petition. We have all been working tirelessly for the past year to address the challenges and adjust to the continually changing Covid-19 pandemic world, especially as it relates to supporting and educating our students. The claims filed are not supported by the facts.

As we implement Covid safety protocols and hire additional staff to support the return of our students to the classroom, this petition will ultimately divert precious taxpayer dollars and staff time.

Superintendent Reid and the District will remain focused on maintaining the health and safety of our Northshore community while providing for the best educational delivery system that we can for our students under the Governor’s and Department of Health guidelines."

France said she’s been closely monitoring board meetings and conversations for the past year.

"I’ve attended the meetings, I’ve implored the board with email after email, they are censoring our voices," France said.

If the petition is approved, parents will have 180 days to collect signatures. France says there is so much frustration that she is confident she can get the required signatures in one weekend.

 "I have been in tears on the heels of conversations with mothers, in one week 3 mothers, one in the driveway breaking down in tears, another one at my doorstep, her child tried to kill herself."

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