School district releases statement following Monday night’s emergency Milton-Union board meeting

MILTON UNION — A local school district released a statement Monday night after holding an emergency school board meeting.

>>‘Angry, very angry;’ Parents say they are left in the dark after Milton-Union school board meeting

News Center 7 reported Monday night that Milton-Union Exempted Village School District held an emergency meeting and went into a two-hour executive session.

The school district released an online statement Monday following its meeting.

“The Milton-Union Exempted Village School District is committed to the safety and best interests of every one of its students. We take that responsibility seriously, as we always have. All students should feel safe in our buildings every day, and we work hard to make sure that happens. Be assured that we are working with the authorities to ensure that every child feels safe coming to school and being in school.”

>>Parents, students protest Milton-Union Local Schools’ superintendent, school board

News Center 7 reported the meeting came after West Milton families gathered Monday morning to protest the district superintendent and school board.

The protest follows a lawsuit filed by the parents of a West Milton boy against the district. They claim no one investigated the sexual assault of their child after they complained.

Jerry North, 59, a former custodian at Milton-Union has been accused of sexually assaulting a child on school property.

>>RELATED: Parents sue local school district, say no one investigated custodian on claims of sexual assault

Since it was in executive session, board members could not share what they discussed.

It meant parents could not ask the board members questions.

Parents and grandparents waited inside the gym Monday evening as the board of education met in an executive session for two hours.

The meeting agenda mentioned the executive session. It was to consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, compensation, and investigation of charges or complaints against a person of an employee or official and conference with an attorney.

News Center 7 was there Monday when the executive session was over and the board quickly ended the meeting. Our crews attempted to give the board a chance to speak to us.

“I mean, I don’t think the board is interested in commenting right now on ongoing and potential litigation so I think that’s all that needs to be said at the moment,” said Brad Ritchey, superintendent of Milton-Union schools.

>>RELATED: Milton-Union School District custodian accused of sexually assaulting child on school property

The meeting came after West Milton families gathered Monday morning to protest the district superintendent and school board.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson spoke with students at the protest. One told her they felt the school was not listening to them or protecting their kids.

Parents, like Kodi Williamson, who has three kids in the district, wanted answers Monday night.

“I have a lot of concerns as of right now. Are there other children, as there are more people that haven’t reported that are too scared to come out and say anything?” Williamson said.

Juliann Price, who has a grandchild in the district, said when she heard of the charges North was facing she was “physically sick.”

“Then angry, very angry. And then here I am,” she said.

The board has a “special meeting” scheduled for Wednesday, where it is also expected to go into executive session.

It is unknown the topic of this meeting.

We will continue following this story and update as new details are available.

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