Bryant resigns from St. Charles school board, prompting concerns of treatment board faces
Michael Bryant resigned from the St. Charles Unit District 303 school board before Monday's regular monthly meeting, sparking a colleague to speak out about the harsh treatment board members have endured from the community.
While Bryant cited personal reasons in his letter of resignation, school board Vice President Carolyn Waibel warned of future departures due to the level of animosity being aimed at the board as it tries to navigate learning models during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I know he left for personal reasons, but I'm just concerned about the community culture we're in right now and the pressure that puts on a volunteer board," Waibel said. "We didn't take an oath to be harassed in our homes, to be emailed 12 times in two hours, to be called names, to be hung up on.
"That's not what this job is about," she said. "We're here to help."
Bryant, who did not attend Monday's meeting, was elected to the school board in 2019 and his term expires in 2023. The board has 60 days to fill the seat.
"I am proud of the work that this board has accomplished over the last couple of years and am confident that the current board will continue to guide the district in the right direction," Bryant wrote in his letter. "It has been an honor to serve the students and community of D303."
He did not respond Tuesday to a request for further comment.
School board President Nick Manheim sent a letter Tuesday to parents announcing Bryant's resignation and explaining the process to replace him. Superintendent Jason Pearson said Monday he'd detail the selection process to the board at next Tuesday's Learning and Teaching Committee meeting.
"I'm afraid Mr. Bryant will be the first of several (to resign)," Waibel said. "And if it's not this time, it will be the next (election) cycle. I hope this is an opportunity for people to look within and think about how they're treating people."