UNION COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The petition went live online after the Union County Board of Commissioners issued a vote of no confidence for the Union County Public Schools Board of Education.
The group, SOS Union County, says the petition is not political, they want to protect their children.
The slow build started after the UCPS board voted to end quarantine requirements for students and staff not sick with COVID-19 and to stop contact tracing.
“This is not a political issue, it is a health issue,” said petition organizer K. Lee Smith. “And we need people on that board who are going to listen to scientists and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.”
The number of signers has been going up since the petition went live on Tuesday. The request is to have BOE chairperson Melissa Merrell, Gary Sides, and Jimmy Bention Sr. step down.
“This doesn’t just affect the kids,” added Smith. “They take it home to their families, teachers, staff in the schools are being exposed. It all goes back into the community.”
The Union County commissioners voted 3-2 to not issue a vote of confidence. Merrell was at the meeting and the vote was after she informed the commissioners that the board reversed the decision and would continue to follow the state guidelines.
It really comes down to if the petition holds any weight. Commissioners told the crowd they can’t fire board members.
“I don’t know how seriously they will take it,” said Smith. “I know that they should take it very seriously because people really have lost confidence.”
The group SOS Union County says they are not going away, and it’s just the beginning of their push to put safe measures back in school for their children. We reached out to the three board members but didn’t receive a response.