Whitehall Board of Education member Brandon Howard, along with his mother, board vice president Ronda Howard, resigned from their positions effective immediately Feb. 28.
The district received their letters sometime on Thursday. The remaining three school board members will meet in special session Monday, March 4, at the district’s administrative offices to officially accept the resignations.
Board president Walter Armes said he was surprised to hear of the Howards’ joint departure.
“I was not expecting it,” he said after learning of the news.
Neither Brandon nor Ronda Howard could be reached for comment.
ThisWeek has received letters from residents and some anonymous sources, calling for Brandon Howard’s resignation. Social-media outlets, like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, also featured numerous posts about him.
In his letter, Brandon Howard did not mention any specific reason for stepping down but alluded to a recent controversy over a weapons charge stemming from a summertime incident.
“I feel that it is in the best interest for me to resign for the well-being of my family,” he said in the letter.
Howard’s mother, Ronda, has been a school board member since 2004. Though her letter contained many messages of thanks, it gave no reason for her departure.
“Please accept my letter of resignation effective immediately from the position of an elected official with the Whitehall City School Board of Education,” she said in her letter. She went on to recognize everyone, from the superintendent to board members and staff (past and present).
“These parents, students and community members are the reason I continued to strive for what I believe were the best opportunities for our children,” she said.
Controversy first began to stir around Brandon Howard last summer following a gun incident during National Night Out festivities in August.
A Franklin County grand jury indicted Howard on Sept. 28 with carrying a concealed weapon. The charge was a fourth-degree felony, which carried a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
He pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 4 to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon. He received no jail time but was ordered to pay a $300 fine and court costs.
According to Armes, the district has 30 days from the Howards’ Feb. 28 resignations to fill the two vacant positions. Conversely, Armes said the district is not allowed to fill the positions within the first 10 days after the resignations.
The three remaining board members will interview candidates for the position in March. They must agree on two choices or the case will land in the hands of a probate judge.
For more, see the March 7 edition of ThisWeek Whitehall News.