GRAPEVINE, Texas —
Parents shouted strong words and emotions ran high between school board trustees during Monday night’s Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board meeting.
"I call you a hypocrite,” one parent shouted toward the school board president moments before police officers escorted her out of the room.
“Our board meetings have become similar to an SNL skit,” another parent said.
There’s a lot to unpack.
"I am not going to be the subject of a witch hunt and an agenda,” said school board trustee Becky St. John, who has served on the board for 13 years.
On Monday, her name was listed on the agenda, but no one knew why.
School board president Casey Ford, who added the agenda item, did not specify the reasoning behind an executive session where the board would discuss trustee St. John.
During the meeting, St. John questioned why she was on the agenda and said she pressed Ford for an answer before the meeting but didn’t receive one.
“I’m a little concerned that you didn’t give me the courtesy of why I was on the agenda,” St. John said.
“I was trying to be respectful to you,” Ford said during the meeting. He said he wanted to have the discussion behind closed doors rather than in public. “I’m not one that airs our dirty laundry.”
St. John demanded the board to have the discussion in front of the public rather than behind closed doors.
Once the discussion began in public, Ford and several members of the conservative-majority school board said they had video evidence in which St. John allegedly mouthed foul language against school board secretary Kathy Spradley at a previous meeting.
Parents, both for and against St. John, spoke about her during public comment.
"She is honest and she is trustworthy,” one parent said.
Her name was the focus for hours.
“Ms. St. John, you are not modeling adult behavior,” another community member said.
That’s what happened, and things got heated between members the school board.
"One was the b-word and the f-word,” Ford said.
"Now we're acting like our middle schoolers... I did not call anyone anything,” St. John responded.
Several parents called it a politically motivated stunt. Trustee Jorge Rodriguez raised concern about the way in which the issue was handled.
"This is a witch hunt on the trustee," Ramirez said. "If there is an issue, talk to one person and resolved the issue one-on-one."
On Tuesday, WFAA reached out to Ford but did not hear back.
"I think last night was a distraction from some bigger issues that we need to be talking about. And that includes transparency and community engagement,” St. John said.
St. John has been outspoken about her questions surrounding spending and the hiring of the Cantey Hanger law firm to represent the school board.
The spar occurred on the same night in which the board formally accepted Superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan’s decision to retire.