Politics

School Board Throws Out Superintendent After He Enforces State Mask Mandate

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In eastern Oregon, a school board axed its superintendent over masking mandates — although not for the reasons you might expect.

According to The Oregonian, the Adrian School Board fired Adrian School District Superintendent Kevin Purnell on Monday, one week after students returned from summer break. Purnell was fired by a 4-1 vote in what the outlet described as “an emotionally charged special meeting” after a closed-door session of the school board to discuss the issue.

The closed-door session lasted less than half an hour. While the board gave no official reason for Purnell’s termination, critics of the superintendent were motivated by his refusal to push back on mask mandates imposed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat.

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Board Chair Eddie Kincade told the Oregonian that Purnell had failed to abide by board directives, although he went no further than that.

In an emotional speech after the vote, according to the Salem Reporter, Purnell “said that he had at times failed to communicate well, and that board members had at times failed to communicate in a civil manner.”

“Ultimately, I feel that I have lost my way, and it began to consume me,” Purnell said.

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“I have become tired. Tired of disappointing myself, my family, my friends, my colleagues.”

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