Pictured (from left) are I-SS Board of Education members Mike Kubiniec, Doug Knight, Anita Kurn, Brian Sloan, Abby Trent, Bill Howell and Charles Kelly.


A Statesville resident has launched a petition drive to put public pressure on members of the Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education to resign.

Patrice Miller

Patrice Miller, a 2016 graduate of South Iredell High School and recent graduate of Campbell University, launched the online effort on May 24 after learning that six of the seven I-SS board members met secretly via text message on more than 30 dates between December 2022 and April of 2023. (Only Charles Kelly did not participate in the secret texts.)

During the long string of messages, which Iredell Free News first reported last month, board members Anita Kurn and Brian Sloan — in a discussion about student discipline — joked about having Statesville High School students fight in a Thunderdome at the school’s football field. Vice Chair Mike Kubiniec and other board members also made comments targeting LGBTQ advocates on different occasions.

“Sitting on the school board means working with the community to improve student achievement,” Miller said. “It does not include breaking the law and laughing about what was done. This doesn’t show respect or integrity on their part.”

Board members have denied breaking any laws, and only board member Doug Knight has offered anything resembling a public apology.  “I ask for grace for my mistakes,” he said during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.

State law requires elected boards to meet in public. Whenever a quorum of board members meets to discuss school business, the public must have advance notice of the meeting and the meeting must be held in public. State law does not differentiate between an electronic meeting and an in-person meeting.

These board members, Miller said, have demonstrated that they are not suited to help district students “move forward and grow.”

Miller is not the first individual to call for the board members to step down. Statesville City Councilwoman Doris Allison is the most prominent person to call for the board to resign. Several Statesville High School students, in letters published by Iredell Free News, also called on the board members to quit. There have also been numerous calls for the board to resign on social media.

Miller hopes I-SS students and parents and concerned citizens will lend their name to the effort by signing her petition. And she hopes board members will do the right thing.

“These kids and the community deserve better because these children are our future,” she said. “They deserve to be taken care of, to go to schools and learn, and to have public transportation to and from school, they deserve meals from the school whether they pay for it or get free and reduced lunch.”

Read & Sign the Petition

Click HERE to read and sign the petition or visit https://www.change.org/p/stop-school-board-from-ruining-our-schools.


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