Student rates

Bethel School lawsuit focuses on open meeting law and discussion of transgender student

Bethel School Board President Lydda Mansfield said the district has yet to officially receive a copy of the complaint.

“When we do, we will review it and determine what the appropriate response, if any, will be,” she said.

The complaint also alleges that when the board goes into executive session to discuss employment matters, it does not identify the specific topic authorized. He also claims that the board does not take adequate minutes of most of its meetings. For example, the complaint alleges that the minutes do not record any of the rationales or deliberations that took place prior to a vote on a range of topics.

The complaint asks the court to order the council and its members not to violate the Open Meetings Act, to order a forfeiture of $500 per violation, to invalidate any action on any council deliberation found to be illegal, and to order payment of attorneys’ fees and court costs.

The lawsuit was filed by Matt Miller-Novak and Steven C. Davis of Barron, Peck, Bennie & Schlemmer Co. LPA of Cincinnati.

Judge Jeannine Pratt was assigned the case.

In a separate case, a motion was filed in the Court of Common Pleas earlier this year and later denied by residents seeking the removal of council members Mansfield, Sebastian and Elam. The dismissal retained the right to refile the case.

This lawsuit also involved the controversy over transgender students and restrooms and alleged violations of the state’s open assembly law.