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Blue Valley Board of Education names new vice president

Blue Valley Schools
Posted at 9:53 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 23:29:02-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Blue Valley Board of Education voted 4-3 Monday night to name Kaety Bowers the new vice president.

Monday's meeting came after a special meeting on April 28 in which the board voted 5-2 to strip Jim McMullen of the vice president title.

The move came following a series of controversial tweets and subsequent petition calling for his censure and removal.

The two votes in favor of keeping McMullen in the position were his own, and Bowers, who succeeds McMullen as vice president of the board.

The meeting featured roughly an hour of public comment, with 20 speakers signing up to share their thoughts on the board's recent activity.

"Five board members stripped the VP of his title and are trying to get him recalled because he personally doesn't conform to their views," Lisa McMahon said during public comment.

"This is why we don't trust you, this is one of the reasons why we are divided," Irina Weaver, who also spoke during public comment said.

Students and teachers spoke out in support of the LGBTQIA+ community as well.

"After the last board meeting, I would like to thank the five of you for taking a stand against transphobia and racism," Ephren Taylor, a Blue Valley North student said.

Riley Long, a Leawood Middle School teacher who identifies as transgender, spoke about their experiences in the district.

"I desperately want to be my authentic self, but the opinions of others and the lack of support from the district makes me worry about exposing my true identity," Long said.

Long also talked about the struggles that LGBTQIA+ youth face.

"In 2020, the Trevor Project reported that 52% of transgender nonbinary youth considered suicide," Long said. "Who can blame them when political activists are writing policies against them and we aren’t even allowed to say the word gay in schools?"