Olathe School Board Votes to Censure Board Member Brian Connell



During the May 4 Board Meeting, board member Brian Connell leaves the meeting in frustration.

Bryce Mallory, Writer

On May 16, the Olathe School District’s Board of Education voted to censure member Brian Connell with a vote of 5-2 at the meeting. Connell has the position of being the sixth board member.

The vote means that while Connell can still attend all meetings, participate in discussions during meetings and vote during meetings, he will be removed from all committee assignments and leadership opportunities. It also directs district staff to enforce any and all security measures they see fit in alignment with security protocols related to any patron. 

Connell was cited as being “disruptive” during board meetings and ended up preventing other board members from conducting further business during these meetings. Additionally, this resolution claimed Connell to have broken “decorum” during public meetings. 

Tuesday afternoon, Connell described this decision through a phone call with KSHB news as “contrived, coordinated, and lacking honesty and balance.”

Being sworn into office in January 2022, Connell campaigned on a “Kids1st” message which ended up defeating competitor Brian Geary 54-46%.

This vote of censure, which is an official expression of formal disapproval by the Board links directly back to the public board meeting on May 4 in which Connell made some attendees of the meeting uncomfortable and unsafe. 

A video of that specific meeting shows Connell upset with a motion being passed, then calling for a break and walking out claiming it to be “unacceptable.”

Even though the May 16 meeting was held at 1 p.m., the board meeting was packed with parents both in favor and against Connell. Those in support of Connell staying found the statements that he was threatening laughable and verbally disagreed with the vote to censure him. 

With all these actions being considered, Connell claims to have no plans of stepping down from his position as a current Board Member. 

The new resolution reached during Tuesday’s board meeting also allows the district staff to “enforce any and all security measures they see fit in alignment with security protocols related to any patron.”

Tuesday’s special meeting was not readily available for the public on the district’s website.