Embattled Lakota board member tells critics she’s not resigning

Attendees hold up signs during the Lakota Board of Education meeting that lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Attendees hold up signs during the Lakota Board of Education meeting that lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A defiant Lakota Local Schools board member told a packed meeting she has no intention of resigning in the wake of her colleagues’ recent censure and urging her to quit.

Lakota Board of Education member Darbi Boddy told Monday evening’s board meeting she will continue her elected, four-year term, which followed her fall election where she based her campaign on allegations the district is teaching Critical Race Theory.

Boddy, who was issued a no trespassing warning by a school police officer last week after taking an unescorted visit of two Lakota schools, blamed criticism of her actions since joining the board in January as motivated against her politically conservative campaign stances on CRT and a variety of other issues.

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“I’d like to publicly thank those parents and community members who have asked me to stand firm through what they see as political attacks and to remember that a desire for accountability and transparency is a cardinal sin to most in power and certainly to the status quo,” Boddy said.

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“Critical Race Theory is alive and well in programs and teachings at Lakota. Programs and teachings that are designed to ensure that CRT permeates every aspect of a child’s education,” she said.

“I will not be resigning and will continue to get to the bottom of the issues that were behind my election.”

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Lakota Board of Education member Darbi Boddy speaks during the Board of Education meeting that lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Lakota Board of Education member Darbi Boddy speaks during the Board of Education meeting that lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

caption arrowCaption
Lakota Board of Education member Darbi Boddy speaks during the Board of Education meeting that lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Lakota officials have repeatedly countered Boddy’s allegations in recent months by saying no CRT lessons are taught in the 17,000-student school system, which is the most populous in Butler County.

They say there are some lessons involving Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which is among the Ohio Department of Education’s standards for public school districts.

District officials have initiated an outside organization to audit its curricula for CRT.

Among the meeting’s audience were about a half dozen school parents and residents, some sporting small signs stating “Teaching Black History Is Not CRT.” Some of them also said they want Boddy to resign.

ExploreVideo & story: Lakota Schools board censures, calls for resignation of member
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The Lakota Board of Education meeting lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

The Lakota Board of Education meeting lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

caption arrowCaption
The Lakota Board of Education meeting lasted over three hours Monday night, May 9, 2022, at Lakota Plains Junior School. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

School parent Linda Nix said Boddy has brought “chaos” to Lakota’s governing board.

“She’s stirring the pot and saying a lot of things that are half-truths at the best. It’s not just a distraction, it’s a disgrace,” Nix said of Boddy’s behavior since joining the board.

Lakota resident Rich Hoffman, however, told the board Boddy has “a lot of supporters out there.”

“I emphatically support her,” Hoffman said.

Boddy’s campaign partner Isaac Adi garnered the most votes – followed by re-elected board member Kelley Casper – among the fall board election’s eight candidates.

Adi campaigned on a slate with Boddy and has continued to echo her anti-CRT stance though has recently split from her in publicly criticizing some of her actions.

ExploreLakota board members, once campaign partners, now in social media fight

He again repeated a plea he first made weeks ago to school parents to bring to him any examples of CRT lessons being taught to their children in Lakota schools.

“I am against CRT,” said Adi. “CRT does not have a place in our schools. I don’t know if CRT is in this district but if I do find it, I will fight it to the end.”

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