The lone dissenting voice from last week’s decision for Gibraltar Area Schools to drop its masking requirement has opted to resign from her post.
Angela Sherman turned in her letter of resignation on Friday after the board voted to allow optional masking for the majority of its secondary school students on December 20th and the rest of its population on January 3rd when they return from winter break. It proved to be a breaking point for Sherman, who wrote in her letter of resignation that the “board went from being proactive during a global pandemic to bowing to and becoming bullies who spread misinformation and wish to spread preventable disease to other students, families, and the community.”
She charged the board with not standing by their previous statements to allow students between the ages of 5-11 enough time to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and called out Board President Dr. Stephen Seyfer with spreading misinformation prior to the board meeting on December 13th. That prompted her to file a complaint against him with the school’s attorney but expressed a lack of confidence with the board to hold each other accountable for their decisions. She goes on to say the board relationship is “toxic” and chose to resign so she would no longer continue to sacrifice her health and family.
Sherman was re-elected to the school board last April, garnering the most votes out of the six candidates running for the school board after it was trimmed from eight in the primary. You can read the full letter from Sherman to the Gibraltar School Board below.
December 17, 2021
Dear Gibraltar Board of Education,
Please accept this letter of resignation from my position as a Board Member effective immediately.
I lost my trust and respect for the board and community at the meetings this week. The board went from being proactive during a global pandemic to bowing to and becoming bullies who spread misinformation and wish to spread preventable disease to other students, families, and the community. I have dedicated too much time and effort to doing my best for the students and staff of this district only to be ridiculed and ignored. Up until this week, I could say I was proud of the board but that pride has shifted to distrust.
I stand firm in my statement last night that you: 1) do not stand by your previous statements to allow sufficient time for children ages 5-11 years old to complete their Covid vaccination series; 2) believe you know more about Covid than local, state, and national health experts including Dr. Fogarty, Dr. Heise, and Sue Powers; and 3) are okay allowing others to make decisions for this school district despite the consequences of those decisions on your in loco parentis responsibility to this school.
Mrs. Ward specifically said she was operating under the misinformation provided by Dr. Seyfer prior to Monday’s meeting and that she would have made a different decision knowing the accurate information; Dr. Seyfer knew the information was not accurate but refused to correct it prior to or during Monday’s meeting. The unwillingness of board members to correct that decision based off of misinformation tells me that this board is okay with supporting unethical behavior. There are two other areas where Dr. Seyfer acted in what I believe are unethical and illegal ways regarding this item. I have filed a complaint against him with the school’s attorney but do not have faith that this board will hold him or themselves accountable for decisions resulting from those actions should the attorney confirm there were in fact unethical and illegal. I am not willing to support unethical behavior or actively participate with those who do.
It is important to me that I teach my children self-care so I’m leading by example and have explained to them why it’s necessary to leave toxic relationships, including their unenrollment from the district due to the board not providing them a safe learning environment. The board relationship is toxic and I will not continue to sacrifice my health and family, so I will practice that self-care by removing myself from the board.
Our community is even more broken now than it was before because of your actions. I wish you all the best going forward, you have a lot of work to do as I am not the only person feeling betrayed and bullied after this week’s meetings.
From Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer
The Board has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, December 21st @4:00 PM. The purpose of this meeting is to accept the resignation of Mrs. Sherman from the Board of Education and elect a new Clerk. The Board will begin the process of filling the vacancy in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes 17.26 and Board policy 0142.5. Appointment by the Board to fill a vacancy must be by the majority of the existing Board. The Board will seek qualified and interested candidates from the community. Interested applicants are required to submit their notice of interest to the Clerk. The Board may choose to interview candidates to ascertain their qualifications. If the vacancy is not filled within 60 days of the date on which the vacancy first exists, the vacancy may be filled by the Board President.
I would like to thank Mrs. Sherman for her years of dedicated service to the students, families and staff of Gibraltar Area School District. She was an active member of the Board, and did exceptional work updating Board policy as the Chair of the Policy committee. Angela also served on the Financial Planning committee, Door Community Auditorium Liaison committee, the Employee Handbook committee and the CESA 7 Board of Directors.