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Grand Ledge school board violated the law during June meeting

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GRAND LEDGE – A man is suing Grand Ledge Public Schools and its Board of Education, claiming officials intentionally violated the Open Meetings Act during a special board meeting in June held over Zoom.

The lawsuit, filed in Eaton County Circuit Court in August by Mike Hoskins, names the school district, the board and its seven members.

A screen shot of the June 5 Grand Ledge Public Schools Board of Education meeting, broadcast over Zoom. A lawsuit filed in Eaton County Circuit Court claims board members violated the Open Meetings Act during the meeting. (Photo: Rachel Greco/Lansing State Journal)

Hoskin’s lawsuit claims the board went into an illegal closed session at its June 5 meeting. The meeting was held over Zoom in the wake of comments Brian Metcalf, the school district’s former superintendent, made on Facebook about the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May. Metcalf’s comments placed blame on Floyd for his own killing, at least in part.

Board members listened to more than seven hours of public comment during the meeting, attended virtually by approximately 600 participants, before voting to place Metcalf on paid administrative leave. He was fired Sept. 21 at a due process hearing.

In its response to the lawsuit earlier this month, the school district denied the illegal closed session occurred.

Hoskins, who lives in Grand Ledge, declined to comment Monday when reached by phone.

“I think the suit speaks for itself,” he said.

Eric Delaporte, his attorney, also represents Metcalf, who filed a lawsuit against the school district earlier this month. Delaporte said the Board of Education has been “conducting significant public business through the use of text messages and email outside of a public meeting.”

“The Grand Ledge community should