Antioch School Board President Householder calls special meeting to discuss district’s use of force policies

Emails show she wanted to have board “investigate” last Friday’s incident at Antioch High; superintendent refuses claiming violations of employees’ and student’s rights, her contract and Board Policy

Householder’s event post on Facebook, Tues., Aug. 31, 2021

By Allen Payton

In response to last Friday’s incident with a violent student at Antioch High School, which was caught on video that she posted on her official Facebook page, Antioch School Board President Ellie Householder has called a special meeting for Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “District-wide Use of Force Policies and Procedures”. (See related article)

Householder posted an announcement of the meeting as an event on Facebook on Tuesday, August 31, at about 2:00 p.m. but it wasn’t posted on the district’s website until Wednesday afternoon.

Although the board president has the authority to call special meetings, which require just a 24-hour public notification, board policy requires it be an item of urgency that can’t wait for the next regular meeting, which requires a 72-hour public notification. The next regularly board meeting is scheduled for next Wed., Sept. 8.

Attempts to reach Householder to ask why the matter couldn’t wait until next week to be discussed were unsuccessful before publication time.

In response to a Public Records Act request, emails between Householder and Superintendent Stephanie Anello show the board president wanted the board to investigate the incident writing, “I have consulted with Vice President Dr. Lewis, and he agreed there are unanswered questions regarding the video of the incident at Antioch High on 8/27.

Please take this email as my official notice calling for a Special Meeting for Thursday, September 2nd at 6 PM, to investigate this incident. There will only need to be one item for discussion/action by the Board: ‘Inquiry into Social Media Post Circulated on August 27th incident at Antioch High School.’

  • I would like AUSD staff to be involved for questions, including administration and site safety.
  • Additionally, please invite Strategic Threat Management since we contract with them.
  • Please attach with this agenda item (1) Strategic Threat Management’s contract, (2) job duties for site safety personnel, and (3) and [sic] written policies that outline how violent situations regarding students is [sic] handled – this can be Antioch High specific, Board Policy, the District’s safety plan – anything to help the board understand different scenarios and responses.
  • Lastly, please provide any data we have on student arrests for the last 4-5 years, including but not limited to number of arrests, reasons, school site, grade, gender, and race. Typically, I would only ask for 3 years of data, however, because of COVID, I am extending that time span.”

Anello agreed to schedule the meeting, but refused the remainder of Householder’s requests writing, “I am happy to schedule a Special Meeting. Unfortunately, I can’t agree to the agenda items you requested below for the following reasons:

  • This is an ongoing investigation (at the time of your request, staff has had less than 24 business hours to investigate);
  • You are asking me to violate employee’s rights;
  • You are asking me to violate a student’s right to privacy;
  • You are breaching my employment contract;
  • You are violating Board Policy;

I’m sure there are many other ethical violations included in this request.

The one item I do believe the Board may discuss at this time is the STM contract. However, I want to go on record as stating I believe that absent of an investigation, this is inappropriate at this time. However, if this is what you would like the Board to consider, please advise and I will calendar the meeting.”

In response, Householder requested the contact information for the district’s attorney.

See complete email exchange between Householder and district staff regarding the special meeting, here: 083121 emails Householder & district staff CPRA 090121

Lewis Responds

When Lewis was asked to confirm his conversation with Householder, and if he supported having the board investigate the incident and her requests of Anello he responded, “No. I mentioned that it should review the procedures since the meeting had been called. That conversation happened after the decision to have the meeting was determined.”

Meeting Viewing and Public Comment Information

The meeting will be livestreamed and can be viewed at https://youtu.be/F-Dsas_w-s0. Persons wishing to make a public comment on items on the agenda can submit their comments until 4:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Comments can be submitted via an online form at https://tinyurl.com/ausd-public-comment-card or by email to kelliecavallaro@antiochschools.net. Comments received by 4:00 p.m. will be read to the public during the meeting.

Requirements for Calling Special Board Meetings

Education Code 35144 – Special Meetings:

A special meeting of the governing board of a school district may be called at any time by the presiding officer of the board, or by a majority of the members thereof, by delivering personally or by mail written notice to each member of the board, and to each local newspaper of general circulation, radio, or television station requesting notice in writing. The notice shall be delivered personally or by mail at least 24 hours before the time of the meeting as specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted. No other business shall be considered at those meetings by the governing board. The written notice may be dispensed with as to any member who at or prior to the time the meeting convenes files with the clerk or secretary of the board a written waiver of notice. The waiver may be given by telegram. The written notice may also be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes.

The call and notice shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to the special meeting in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public and district employees.

(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 641, Sec. 1.)

From Government Code – Brown Act – Open Meeting Laws; Special Meetings:

a) A special meeting may be called at any time by the presiding officer of the legislative body of a local agency, or by a majority of the members of the legislative body, by delivering written notice to each member of the legislative body and to each local newspaper of general circulation and radio or television station requesting notice in writing and posting a notice on the local agency’s Internet Web site, if the local agency has one. The notice shall be delivered personally or by any other means and shall be received at least 24 hours before the time of the meeting as specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted or discussed. No other business shall be considered at these meetings by the legislative body. The written notice may be dispensed with as to any member who at or prior to the time the meeting convenes files with the clerk or secretary of the legislative body a written waiver of notice. The waiver may be given by telegram. The written notice may also be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes.

The call and notice shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to the special meeting in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public.

AUSD policy BB 9320 Meetings and Notices regarding who can call a Special Meeting:

Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the presiding officer or a majority of the Board members.  However, a special meeting shall not be called regarding the salary, salary schedule, or other compensation of the Superintendent, assistant superintendent, or other management employee as described in Government Code 3511.1. (Government Code 54956)

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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the attachments to this post:

083121 emails Householder & district staff CPRA 090121
083121 emails Householder & district staff CPRA 090121


Special Board Mtg FB event post 08312


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