Unified board president, vice president support Flood censure


BY DENEEN SMITH
dsmith@kenoshanews.com
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Kenosha Unified’s School Board president is considering calling on the board to censure member Kyle Flood.

Flood, 19, was ticketed for possession of drug paraphernalia, the citation coming after a university police officer was called to his University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus apartment on Nov. 11 for a complaint about the smell of marijuana.

The officer found a pipe in Flood’s room. Another student in the apartment was ticketed for possession of marijuana.

“At this point we are looking at a censure of Kyle,” board President Rebecca Stevens said Friday.

Stevens said she wanted each board member to have a chance to speak to Flood. She said a censure vote would likely be on agenda for the board’s regular meeting Feb. 25.

Board Vice President Jo Ann Taube said she has also requested information from district administration on what the board would need to do to issue a public censure.

“That seems to be our legal recourse and I think it merits some form of censure,” Taube said.

Taube said that while Flood is young, “he is a board member and he is held to a higher standard. We have policy that we want drug-free schools, and since we have young people in our student body and parents (looking to the board) I think we have to reinforce that message.”

A censure vote would be a public rebuke of Flood, but is a largely symbolic gesture.

“You have to face the consequences of having it publicly done,” Stevens said. “The voters are the people that hold the individual board members accountable when they go vote.”

Public statement

On Friday, Flood released a statement apologizing for the incident.

“While I understand the implications of this citation do not display exemplary character of a School Board member of the Kenosha Unified School District, I cannot reverse the actions of which I have been accused,” Flood wrote. “I regret my actions and hope that the School Board and the people of Kenosha will accept my sincerest apology.

“I view myself as a spokesperson for the millennial generation as the youngest elected official in Kenosha County. However, with that comes inexperience, and I have reached out to trusted individuals for consultation and guidance to help me adjust more properly and positively with my now public lifestyle.”

Flood said he did not intend to resign.

“For some individuals who prefer to attack me over this incident for politically motivated reasons, I am looking past the politics. I understand the consequences of my actions regarding this citation, and any other youthful carelessness, and I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I will learn from this and continue to commit to my work as a School Board member,” he wrote.

Subject of petition

There is an online petition calling for Flood to step down. According to the website, it had 251 supporters on Friday.

The drive was launched by Kristi LaCroix, a former Kenosha teacher who works for an anti-union teachers’ organization.

LaCroix is suing the district for its adoption of new labor contracts, a vote supported by Flood. She is also the daughter of Dan Wade, the former police chief running for School Board in Tuesday’s primary; Flood is not among the board members up for re-election this year.

Message to board

Flood also wrote to his fellow board members.

“I am asking for your patience and request that no prejudgments are made. I am prepared to face the consequences of my actions and offer my apologies for any hardships this has caused each of you,” he wrote. “I assure you that nothing that has happened has ever affected my service on the School Board and will never affect my continued service.”

Board member Carl Bryan called the letter “a positive first step.”

“I definitely appreciate the letter expressing his apology,” Bryan said. “As far as what is coming next, I don’t know.”

Taube said she is undecided on whether she believes Flood should step down.

“I am still thinking. I want to know what he has to tell us,” she said.


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