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Tempers Flare at BOE Meeting

By Staff | Jul 13, 2016

MIDDLEBOURNE – There was a heated exchange between Tyler Board of Education members after the board elected a new president.

During the July 5 meeting, BOE Vice President P.J. Wells was sworn in as president with the approval of outgoing BOE President Bonnie Henthorn who nominated him for the job.

BOE members were split 3-2 in favor of Wells with Henthorn, Scott Strode and Wells voting in favor of a new president while Linda Hoover and Jimmy Wyatt voted against Wells.

Wells nominated Henthorn for BOE vice president. She ran unopposed and was elected with Wells, Strode and herself voting in favor while Wyatt and Hoover voted in opposition.

Wyatt nominated Hoover for president. She was defeated two years ago when BOE members Henthorn, Wells and Strode cast their votes for Henthorn. In that election, Wells was nominated for vice president by Henthorn, so this time the roles were switched. Strode voted against Hoover in both elections, thus giving the majority to Wells and Henthorn.

Henthorn drew fire earlier this year when she opted to take her children out of Tyler County schools so as to home school them.

Following the vote, Wyatt challenged Wells’ election as a foregone conclusion before a vote was ever cast in public.

“This is nothing personal towards you Bonnie (Henthorn) or you as President, however, this makes twice that I’ve heard on the street that the three of you all have gotten your heads together decided and it did leak out how this election was going to go,” he said.

Strode then burst in and said, “No, that’s false. I’m going to stop you right now, Jimmy (Wyatt). I’m going to.”

Wyatt interjects, “I’m not stopping because I’ve heard it! I didn’t say you did it.”

Strode interrupts, “That is the farthest thing from the…”

Wyatt cuts him off, “Let me explain.”

Strode and Wyatt engaged in a shouting match.

“You are accusing me,” Strode said.

Wyatt answered, “No I’m not!”

Strode said, “You are directly accusing me along with them.”

Wyatt continued to say, “I’m not accusing anyone.”

Strode said, “I’m stopping you right now and I’m telling you that is 1000 percent false.”

Wyatt answered, “I’m telling you what I heard on the street! I’m not saying it’s true.”

Strode countered, “Then why bring it up? Now I take that personal.”

Wells said, “It’s false.”

Their exchange ended as Wyatt proceeded to get approval of the July minutes.