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Manhattan District 114 executives resign


Superintendent Russell Ragon and Human Resources Director Christine Ruddy resigned late last week for “personal reasons,” according to an email the Manhattan Elementary District 114 Board sent to families on Saturday.

“As we move forward with the next steps, we want our staff to focus on what they do best, teaching Manhattan 114 students. As a board, we are working to make an interim appointment and will keep you informed as we move through this process.” by email.

Ruddy declined to comment on his resignation Tuesday. Ragon and none of the board members immediately responded to requests for comment.

Their resignations came just days after the election. The board approved a new policy On February 14, this incident led to the removal of a billboard at Wilson Creek School that featured hearts with LGBTQ symbols.


Jason Sommerfeld/NOTIFICATION

Bulletin board at Wilson Creek Elementary School in Manhattan. (Jason Somerfield)

The policy states that bulletin board materials must be “viewpoint-neutral, age-appropriate, and contribute to a positive learning environment.” According to the policy, materials on bulletin boards must not disrupt the educational process, violate the rights or privacy of others, violate trademark or copyright, or be defamatory.

The bulletin board at Wilson Creek School in Manhattan, which educates kindergarten through second graders, featured 12 hearts and 10 different colored hearts, two of which read “open hearts” and “open minds.” The display features a heart with a rainbow design with white stripes and pink and blue stripes on both sides.

While the rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ community, the transgender pride flag has a white stripe with light pink and blue stripes on each side.

Ragon read a statement before the board vote that said teachers do not teach students about gender identity or sexual orientation, so the new policy would align bulletin boards with curriculum.

“The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistency between what is taught in classrooms and what is displayed publicly, while avoiding political topics or other elements that could be considered divisive,” Ragon said.



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