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CARMEL, Ind.–The Carmel Clay Schools board has decided to have its meetings virtually until further notice.

“School board meetings have become a lightning rod for contention because they are public. Some believe the loudest in the room or those with the most media attention will ‘win’ an argument in today’s charged climate. We are here to serve the 16,000+ students of Carmel Clay Schools. In a district as large as CCS, disagreements will occur. However, we will no longer allow our board meetings to be a means to divide our community,” said the board in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

The district will start live streaming meetings beginning with the special session scheduled for Monday, to interview the four finalists for the vacant District 2 seat. On Tuesday, the district will live stream another special session, which is being held to choose the candidate to fill that seat. The district said it will regularly reevaluate the need for live streaming. The meetings will on the Carmel Clay Schools YouTube channel.

Board members were particularly disturbed by what happened at a board meeting Monday night.

“When the Board called for a recess, the group booed, began name-calling and continued their rude and inappropriate behavior. Claims that the Board and administrators were trying to silence parents were remarkably unfounded given the evening’s agenda contained four opportunities for public comments.

The Board returned to the meeting, and despite the continued heckling from audience members, took the necessary steps to approve the teacher contract that includes well-deserved raises. State law requires public comment before it can be approved. Two of the group’s members spoke against giving our teachers raises.

The Board continued to advance the meeting and held public hearings on the budget, bus replacement plan, and capital projects fund. The Board approved changes to the public comment bylaw and a new policy on Civility and Decorum. Its importance, unfortunately, was demonstrated throughout the evening. Some like to remind the Board and administration that we “work for them” or claim these tactics, threats, and harassment are constitutionally protected. We know of no workplace that would tolerate this form of mistreatment from any boss or supervisor. And we especially refuse to let them target our teachers and staff,” said the board in the released statement.

Back in July, a man was also arrested for bringing a gun to a school board meeting.

You can read the full statement from Carmel Clay Schools here.