Duluth School Board Considers Rescinding Removal of Member Art Johnston
School Board Considers Rescinding Removal of Art Johnston
The Duluth School Board has decided to reverse its course and will no longer trying to remove board member Art Johnston.
The school district released a statement to FOX 21 saying,
“Following abuse of his authority in inappropriately involving himself in a school district personnel matter and inappropriate, offensive physical contact with the superintendent and school board chairperson, as documented in a detailed and comprehensive investigative report, the Duluth School Board proposed removal of member Art Johnston per Minnesota statute 123b.09.
While the board believes Johnston’s misconduct is sufficient grounds for his removal, Johnston’s subsequent federal litigation against ISD 709 and five board members has the potential to result in a drawn–out, time–consuming and expensive legal process which would distract from focusing on the primary mission of our schools, which is the education and well–being of our students.
Therefore, the Duluth School Board will consider rescinding the removal of Johnston and replacing it with formal censure at a special school board meeting to be held next week. The board expects Johnston will then dismiss his federal lawsuit, for which he is seeking monetary damages.”
Johnston tells FOX 21 he has received a letter from the board notifying him of this change in action.
He says the letter followed another full day of unproductive settlement discussions, most recently on Monday.
Johnston now says “I am thrilled they have finally changed their minds. I look forward to focusing on what I was elected to do—to speak freely and advocate for what I believe is best for the Duluth public schools. This is a victory for the people I represent in West Duluth.”
Johnston claims the allegations against him were baseless distractions and says he sincerely regrets the school district spent thousands of dollars to investigate the charges against him.