After North Allegheny School Board member Beth Ludwig walked out during a marathon public hearing Jan. 30 on the proposed closing of Peebles Elementary School, there had been growing speculation among some parents that Ludwig had resigned.
At Wednesday’s school board meeting, it became official.
Ludwig, a former teacher, told her former colleagues that she felt that debate over Peebles had put the district "on the path of becoming a three-ring circus" and said "there were clear examples of cyber bullying." (see video)
Board President Maureen Grosheider said she tried for several weeks to change Ludwig's mind. Ludwig's resignation is a "great loss" to the district, Grosheider said (see video).
"I couldn't take the level of discourse anymore in the community," Ludwig said after the board voted to accept her resignation. "I felt like I was losing my self-esteem by staying. The level of discourse in the community had gotten so intense that I felt by staying, I was losing part of myself."
Ludwig indicated the debate had become too personal.
"For some reason, and some of it was because I stepped in it with my own choice of words, people just had no tolerance for me as a person, and I couldn't do that anymore," she said. "It was the wrong time for the district, but with what was going on with my life, it was the right time for me."
According to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association:
Vacancies caused by resignation, death, etc., are filled by an appointment process conducted by the remaining board members. Such an appointee serves the unexpired portion of the person's term until the next school board election in November of odd-numbered years. At most, an appointee will serve two years.
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