Parents of children who were involved in the Centerville school bus crash on April 10 spoke to the Centerville School Board on Monday. One parent indicated they had retained a lawyer.
The parents spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, meaning it was largely a one-way conversation per policy. However, school board president Marty Braster said the incident remains under investigation and the district is awaiting its completion before it can comment.
Parents publicly criticized the district's handling of the accident, alleging that students were allowed to leave the scene with strangers and that no ambulance or emergency responders were called. They said only one deputy arrived on scene. Law enforcement said at the time the deputy arrived, many children were already taken from the scene.
"Thirty kids on a school bus go into a ditch," said Bruce Clinkenbeard. "No ambulance was called, no fire department called out there, no rescue units at all — one sheriff, is all that was out there to take care of these kids."
"We wanna know what you guys are going to do when the next one happens," he continued. "Are you going to do the same thing again?"
Braster said the board will review the results of the investigation.
"At that time, if it's appropriate, I'm sure the board will be talking about those results and how they should be addressed," Braster said.
In other action:
— The board, after a public hearing with no public comment, approved a budget amendment for the current fiscal year. The amendment raises expenditure categories, largely to allow for construction projects that are ongoing. The amendment does not raise property taxes.
— An out of state TAG trip to Michigan was approved, after members of the TAG teams who qualified for Odyssey World Finals attended to request permission.
— Lunch and breakfast prices will go up for the upcoming school year. Prices for student lunch will raise from $1.75 to $1.80. Breakfast prices will increase for students from $2.75 to $2.85.
— In athletics news, swimming and trap shooting were approved to be official sports at Centerville High School. Both were already clubs, but the addition of those activities as sports means more support from the district. Swimming, as a sanctioned sport, will also be eligible for state events whereas currently, the club competes with the YMCA. For now, middle school swimming remains a club due to a lack of schools that have declared it a sport.
— The board held off on approving a bid to replace the gymnasium floors at the Lakeview Gymnasium and old Howar Middle School gym, due to lack of bids. They received one bid and generally require two bids to be received. Officials were expecting a second bid within days.
— Administrators and directors of the district received a 2.16 percent pay increase. The total increase across all administrators is $13,988 between wages and benefits. The pay increase for directors has a total cost of $3,920.
— Three new administrators for the upcoming school were approved by the board as well. Matt Johnson will become associate elementary principal, replacing Dianna Fatka who is retiring. Andy Hotek will become dean of students, which is a new position created after superintendent Tom Rubel said the district struggled to hire a new guidance counsel. Lisa Swarts was hired as school business official, replacing Linda Henderson who is retiring.
Kyle Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.