BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – The Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District is currently in the midst of three different lawsuits.
Thursday, the school board held a public meeting to offer information on each.
According to district legal counsel Tabitha Justice, a group of media outlets have filed a lawsuit against the school to obtain the records of the man responsible for the Oregon District mass shooting in August.
John Stafford has personally filed the other two lawsuits; Stafford v Citizens for Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools et. al and Stafford v David Carpenter et al.
Justice says the school board is required by law to defend itself and employees if either is sued.
Stafford is the founder of the “Vote No Movement” which opposes the upcoming levy on the ballot.
He alleges in Stafford v Citizens for Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools et al, that the school board and its employees spent public funds to support or oppose the passage of a school levy or bond issue or to compensate any school district employee for time spent on any activity intended to influence the outcome of a school levy or bond issue election.
In Stafford v David Carpenter et al. he alleges the school board has violated Ohio Election laws by not holding public meetings in which they discuss strategies for promoting the levy.
No public comment was permitted during Thursday’s meeting.
“This is the first school board meeting in the last year where there’s been no public comment. There was no way that I could bring my attorney or I could stand up and talk but [Justice] could throw out these allegations and there’s no response [to] it,” said Stafford.
Bellbrook parent Josh Pressnell is involved with the Bellbrook Research Angels, an organization that supports the school levy. Pressnell attended the meeting and says he believes the school board should continue to fight the litigation.
“I absolutely hope to hear that they’re not planning on settling there’s been some calls for that in the community. It’s important to stay in the right and fight for being right and not to give up when you know that you’re on the right side of the argument,” said Pressnell.
Stafford’s lawsuits are ongoing litigation in Greene County.
Justice predicted at the end of Thursday’s meeting that she would have to give an update on the lawsuits to the public again soon. She shared that all information on the litigation is public record.
The levy will be on the ballot in March.
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