Residents, state reps. speak out about Patrick Hickey during WLS board meeting

Residents, state reps. speak out about Patrick Hickey during WLS board meeting

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Major controversy took place at  the Washington Local school board meeting Wednesday night due to one school board member: Patrick Hickey.

"What's the deal with what's going on in our district because you know what I don't have a clue, but I can tell you I'm sick of hearing his name," stated Jennifer Bernath, a mother of two students in the district.

Even though Hickey was a no-show at Wednesday's meeting, his name was spoken loudly, as those in attendance at the meeting had a lot to say about his presence on the board after calls for his resignation have gone unanswered.

"He has too much baggage and he should not be on our board," said a former teacher and board member of Washington Local.

"It is totally embarrassing," explained a taxpayer from the community.

"If Mr. Hickey is arrested between now and the next board meeting, are steps going to be taken for him to be off the board?" asked one woman from the community.

These comments were among the many neighbors who have concerns about Hickey.

State representative Teresa Fedor even showed up to Wednesday's meeting and called him a distraction to the district.

"I implore you to continue your effort to work in a way that is respected, respecting the children and I will work with you because I'm looking at you know peeling apart this onion. Is there a law that I can create in the state of Ohio so we don't pass the trash?" said State Representative Teresa Fedor.

But despite all the discussion, Hickey was not present. A former student of his, from Addison, stood up to speak out during the board meeting.

"This is not a circus. This stuff happened to us okay and I don't stand to gain anything other than I'm trying to protect any other child who was in the boat I was in and my teammates were in," explained Kristina Hassenzahl.

The school board president addressed the audience's comments during Wednesdays meeting.

"I assure you even though they are currently being drowned out by the non-sense that is occurring, and it is nonsense, please know that there are still great things going on in the Washington Local schools," said Thomas Ilstrup, WLS Board President.

The board said the district will move forward and brighter days are ahead.

With his absence, several  questioned why the district is paying to hold their meetings at the American Legion when Patrick Hickey does not show up.

Several also called for the board to reconsider extending the current superintendent Dr. Hayward's contact which was denied during a previous meeting.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for March 21.

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