TCAPS Trustees Discuss Moon Mohr’s Social Media |  News

TCAPS Trustees Discuss Moon Mohr’s Social Media | News

TRAVEL CITY – During a meeting that focused mostly on concealment, understaffing, and virtual learning, trustees of public schools in the Traverse City Area engaged in a back-and-forth regarding recent violations of board practice standards by a member.

The TCAPS Trustees revised their Standards of Practice, as they do at the first meeting of each calendar year. The Standards of Practice are a document outlining how the Board can best exercise its function as a governing body.

Monday’s discussion on standards for board practice included minimal changes to the document and a lengthy discussion aimed at holding trustee Erica Moon Mohr accountable for her actions after the last board meeting in 2021. Other trustees noted that Moon Mohr’s actions violated one of the conditions in the document regarding adherence Board decisions.

Three days after the December 20 meeting in which the board made no proposal to change the previously set expiration date of the global mask mandate, Moon Mohr posted on Facebook, criticizing the decision to let the mask mandate fall and inviting fellow board members to organize a special meeting to reinstate Mask authorization.

Chairman Scott Newman Bell said part of the problem with board members posting their work on social media is that other board members can’t reply or comment on the post because it would be a violation of the Open Meetings Act.

“I think it’s unfair to the other board members. I think it basically just envelopes the room,” Newman Bell said.

Moon Moore said she has apologized to each individual board member, and lobbied other board members to acknowledge their mistakes as well. She pointed to a line in the Standards of Practice document calling on the board to “engage with the local community and represent the values ​​and expectations the community holds for its schools.”

“I think we have failed our community, I think we have failed our students and I think we have failed our teachers and staff,” Mun Mohr said.

Moon Moore has received criticism for her behavior from other trustees, including trustee Andrew Raymond who said he was “disappointed” with her actions.

Regent Flournoy Humphreys referred to a section of the Standards stating that the board has a “special moral duty to serve each student”. Humphries said Moon Moore’s post was “well-meaning,” even if her method was questionable.

Guardian Matt Anderson said Moon Mohr’s violation of standards angered the public towards other board members and “created a kind of uncontrollable hostility towards all other board members with no way to defend themselves”.

Anderson was absent from the December 20 meeting, but said by not sticking to open dialogue at the December 20 meeting and not following board procedures, the board reached a “worse outcome.”

“Would this be similar to your review article I wrote for Record-Eagle two years ago essentially single-handedly accusing me of leaving Anne Cardon?” asked Mon Mohr.

In 2019, Anderson wrote a column published in Record-Eagle detailing some of the circumstances surrounding the departure of former TCAPS supervisor Anne Cardone. The Board of Directors had gone into a closed session to present the complaints of some members about Cardon.

“After the door was opened, a firestorm stirred up by my fellow Guardian, Erica Munn Mohr, led to a level of rudeness I completely cannot recognize,” Anderson wrote in the column.

Anderson said he did not blame Moon Mohr alone for the breakdown in board action that has occurred since the December 20 meeting, and that he stood by his column in 2019.

Before the discussion concluded, Mun Mohr raised her voice to call on the other trustees, saying that they had failed to listen to the community by not holding a private meeting before returning to school to re-authorize the mask.

“I’ve admitted to my social media failure,” Mun Mohr said. “I haven’t yet heard of any other board members, except for Flournoy Humphreys who stood by me that day, except for Scott who’s back. I failed in this community as a board member and you must be embarrassed.”

Her enthusiastic comment drew heavy criticism from the public who was quickly shut down by Newman Bell.

Mon Mohr said that integrity and following the will of the community meant more to her than standards and procedures.

Raymond then asked if the document would mean anything if they signed it, if that was the position of Mon Mohr. Newman Bell said the standards would still be applicable, and would only require the board of directors to “go through tough processes” and hold each other accountable when trustees break procedures.

Board members have until the next board meeting to sign the document, but they are not required to.

Raymond also said he did not want to attend a private meeting on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day because he was out of state to visit his parents. Guardian Josie Ballinger said she also did not want to attend a meeting during the break because she was spending time with her family.

During the discussion, Newman-Bell intervened on multiple points, saying that by upholding the standards of practice, the board would make its best decisions and be the most effective.

“It’s not a fun process, but I’d rather do it here in public and avoid any situation like it’s been in the past so we can come out of this, a little upset with each other for a few days, and hopefully come along,” Newman Bell said.

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