“Unfortunately, Heinrich and Barrett have not publicly admitted to any policy violations nor did Samuels hold her fellow board members accountable for their actions as the board chair,” CHC Board Recall said in a statement Tuesday. “The recall was only initiated after numerous efforts by other board members and citizens failed to fully hold Heinrich and Barrett accountable.”
Barrett said Samuels’ resignation was not related to the alleged violations, but rather the motives and actions of those bringing allegations forward.
“I don’t think it’s the accusations itself, it’s the ugliness exposed and the extent people were willing to go to get their way on a vote that was decided differently than they wanted,” Barrett said.
Barrett said he does not believe he violated board policy and was not restricting information to supporters of the Mandarin dual-language program.
“It was someone that reached out to me, that clearly shared my point of view on the issue, but I’ve been willing to talk to anybody that wants to reach out — I’ve never been shy about talking to people on all sides of all issues,” he said.
At a Jan. 24 meeting, school board member Rani Dasi, who voted against the Mandarin track, said the released documents hindered her trust of other board members.
“As a resort of what we’ve learned from these topics, I do not feel safe sharing information with some board members, and I am concerned about the impact for our teachers and staff and how this board behavior may compromise their willingness to communicate with the board,” she said.
Riza Redd, a spokesperson for CHC Board Recall, said in an email that 7,500 physical signatures are required to initiate a recall election for each board member. She said she does not have data on the number currently collected.
The CHCCS Board of Education voted Joal Broun as the new chairperson at a meeting Thursday night. Following the announcement, Broun acknowledged how valuable the former chair was to the board and said her work was appreciated and that she will be missed.
Jeff Nash, executive director of community relations for CHCCS, said he is not sure what the board will decide to do to fill the vacancy.
"It is up to the board to appoint someone to fill the vacancy," he said in an email. "However, being this close to an election, they may choose to run with just six members until November."