Hickey elected to school board despite a ban from school property

Hickey elected to school board despite a ban from school property

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Washington Local voters spoke and elected Patrick Hickey to the school board. Hickey got the second highest number of votes, despite allegations from his past.

An interesting twist though, Hickey is currently banned from school property.

"The community is the boss not the school district and so the community has spoken that they want me to be a board member," said Patrick Hickey, Washington Local School Board member elect. "In order to do my job, I obviously have to be on not only the board's property for meetings, but also to see what's going on in all thirteen buildings of the district."

The Washington Local School Board held a normal meeting Wednesday night. They took no action regarding Patrick Hickey, but did addressed the election first thing.

"Public discussion regarding the issues will not be entertained tonight," said David Hunter, the school board president as he read a prepared statement from the board. "The election process has not been over for 24 hours yet and we have a lot of issues to address."

While there was no public comment at the Washington Local School Board meeting Wednesday, several in the audience had the election on their minds.

Some liking the outcome of Patrick Hickey on the board while others disagree.

"I am a strong believer in fact and I think there's been a lot of rumor a lot of innuendo and no proven fact of anything," said Jackie Semelka, a supporter of Hickey. "I've got 15 kids who have gone through this district and he's done great things."

"I was ashamed for the first time in my life to even say, this was last night, to say that I was a panther. Today I am back to being proud to be a panther, we just had a little hiccup," said Chris Weills who was disappointed Hickey was elected.  "You had two candidates that the teachers backed, they didn't even make it. They weren't even in it."

Weills said she will watch Mr. Hickey closely and the election has ultimately made her become more involved. She plans to attend every board and council meeting to be more active in the future.

Board member elect Patrick Hickey was not at the WLS board meeting because of a ban from December of 2015 preventing him from being on school grounds.

Board President David Hunter said they have spoken with their attorney on what to do and are looking at all options because this is uncharted territory.

"There's a lot of emotion here this is a district that really cares about its kids and it has kind of festered over all these issues and we're going to work it out," said Hunter, WLS board president. "We have not made mistakes through the whole district even though it's been kind of crazy we've done the right thing throughout time and I believe we'll do the right things in the future."

Hickey said he believes people voted for change in the district, electing three board members not currently seated.

"People that are currently on the board are out and three new people are in and so they want change and I will respect that," said Hickey. "But the most important thing is that the next 50 months will be peaceful and we will return to an agenda of loving and lifting up kids solely."

The board president hopes the current board can come up with a decision on the ban, but if not the new board will address the issue come January.

"I think it is important that we wrap our arms around the community's decision," said Hunter. "The community made a decision to put these three people on the board, they will be on for four years and I think we need to make sure that their focus and our focus is for the kids."

Hunter hopes they can move on from all this and get back to what matters most their students. That's something Patrick Hickey agrees needs to happen.

He said he's ready to get to work and will be dedicated to keeping voters trust.

"I'll be good to our kids and I'll be good to our staff and our community and when you do that the district can soar and the district has soared before and it will soar again," said Hickey.

Mark Hughes and Thomas Ilstrup were also elected to Washington Local School Board, none of the three elected are on the current Washington Local School Board.

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