SHAWANO, Wis. (WFRV) – A bizarre Shawano School Board meeting ended with the board not allowing a parent group to present them with a petition with over 1,100 signatures asking to remove superintendent Randi Anderson.

School Board president Michael Sleeper said the board made the decision because it’s against board policy to have public comments attacking a specific individual.

In what they say was an effort to avoid redundancy, the School Board also made the decision to not allow everybody who had signed up for public comment to speak. Sleeper said this complies with board policy. Sleeper said the board consulted its legal counsel before making this decision to make sure they could do it.

“It’s something we value, but we’re also charged with running the business of the district and I tried to be fair to the best of my ability,” said Sleeper. “When I skipped someone it was a topic that had already been addressed. Minimizing redundancy trying to give as much attention to a wide range of concerns.”

Parents and teachers that attended the board meeting were not happy with this decision. In previous meetings, the school board had allowed anybody who wanted to make a public comment to do so, and being more transparent and improving communication is one of the things that district teachers and parents have been critical about.

“This is a broken system because the two people (Sleeper and Andersen) we are supposed to go through are not listening,” said Sheila Aumann who is a parent in the district.

“I can’t work for leadership that won’t work with staff, for the best interest of kids, I don’t like it,” said one of the teachers who spoke.

“The district administration has little or no investment or this district it’s simply a stepping stone in their careers and they have no understanding of how this community thinks or functions,” said Shawano High School senior Ashlee Raddant.

The Shawano School Board meeting on Monday night got heated.

A recent survey was also a topic of conversation among those that did speak during the public comment session of the meeting.

Shawano Educators Association (SEA) President and current teacher in the district Matt Brunette administered the survey. He said he polled 68 percent of the teachers in the district and that everything was done anonymously.

On a scale of one to five with one being a negative response, teachers had the district at a 1.39 when asked how confident they are that Shawano Community Schools will have a fair and equitable salary structure in future year, a 1.23 when asked if they felt like they could openly communicate with the district without fear of retribution, and a 1.33 when asked if they feel like the district communicates information in a thorough fashion.

Out of the 14 questions, the best score the district received on a question was a 3.26 out of 5. Here is a link to the full survey.

“Our concern is about not being able to do our best work to help our students due to other circumstances around us,” said Brunette.

“By continuing to listen, by continuing to provide the tools necessary for the staff to be effective,” said Sleeper when asked what the School Board can do to be more supportive of its teachers.

When asked about the survey, Sleeper said that while he isn’t dismissing the results, he doesn’t believe the survey actually polled 68 percent of district staff.

Teachers were also allowed to make comments on the surveys. District teachers described the situation as “a total collapse of trust,” noted “a lack of honest communication and micromanagement is killing this district,” and said “why talk when I feel like my perspective isn’t valued.”

Some parents are also upset about the results of the survey fearing that unhappy teachers will impact their children’s education.

“It certainly affects them in the classroom these teachers are demoralized and devalued in their positions they’re doing their best but they’re trying to do the best to meet the needs of the kids without the support they need coming from above,” said Sheila Aumann who has kids in the district.

Amid growing concerns over how the district is handling its budget deficit, district administration has hosted listening sessions with the community and talked about sending out a survey to get community input on future district decision making.

However, some parents and teachers feel like the School Board’s actions on Monday night to not allow public comment directly undermines their other efforts to be more communicative with the community.

Sleeper said he’s confident the School Board will be able to figure out the district’s problems.

“The answer is yes but, and it’s a but in capital letters, there are no silver bullets if it was easy it would have been fixed a long time ago,” said Sleeper.

During the meeting, the board announced the resignations of several principals in the district as well.