Petition reaches enough signatures to recall some Mequon-Thiensville School Board members

NOW: Petition reaches enough signatures to recall some Mequon-Thiensville School Board members

MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) - Some parents in the Mequon-Thiensville School District are trying to recall a majority of the school board after submitting a petition Monday evening, Aug. 23.

Some parents spent all day Monday collecting last minute signatures to try and recall four of the seven members on the MTSD board. Those parents worked the last 60 days collecting more than 4,400 signatures, enough to go to a special election if certified.

"We have exceeded the amount of signatures needed so the recall will be triggered," Amber Schroeder said. "Now it's up to the clerk to go through each and every one and either validate or invalidate each one."

Amber Schroeder put her younger children in private school this year. She is unhappy the district will be contact tracing students this coming semester. She also feels face masks make it difficult for students to engage.

"Mandatory quarantines with no virtual options and we are predicting that the district is going to see a greater decline," she said.

Parents like Schroeder, who signed the petition, say test scores have declined in the last five years, and want something done about it. They reference the district's "Milestones for Secondary Success" for their data. Schroder said key benchmarks are down since 2015. They want something done about this and feel the board is not listening.

"We'd like to replace them and put better people on the board that will stick up for the constituents," Schroeder said. "They're not paying attention to us anymore. They're either checked out or they decided to disregard a very large population of the community's opinions."

The board members they want recalled are: Wendy Francour, Chris Schultz, Akram Kahn and Erik Hollander. These four members are the ones eligible for a recall.

But, this effort has been met with pushback.

"Recalling four people at once is way too much," Nancy Urbani said.

Urbani has children in the district and is part of the Coalition to Support MTSD. The website she helped create aims at debunking the recall effort, trying to show the district is still high-performing. 

"According to the DPI, our school district is number two in the state," Urbani said. "It's still a very good district."

She believes this petition is all about politics, which she says has no place on a school board. She is encouraging parents to get out and vote if this comes to a special election.

"Most of the city is okay with COVID mitigations. I believe this [group] is a small, but very vocal minority," Urbani said. "The school district isn't perfect, it's not perfect for me. But if we're just going to complain about it and replace the school board every year, they're not going to get enough knowledge under their belt to make any changes either."

CBS 58 reached out to the school board members. In a statement, board member Wendy Francour said:

"I understand there will be signed petitions turned in later today.  There is a legal process to validate the signatures and the Board will move forward following that process."

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