Petitions to recall school board members are certified

By on Thursday, May 25th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

RICHLAND, Washington – Benton County Auditor Brenda Chilton certified the signatures on petitions calling for the recall of three Richland School Board directors on Wednesday.

The special election for the recall has been set for August 1, the same day as the primary election.

Proponents of the recall said they want directors Audra Byrd, Misipati Semi Bird, and Kari Williams to be held accountable for unlawful actions taken in February 2022, when they voted to go mask optional during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their decision came four days after Washington State Superintendent of Public Chris Reykdal said in an email: “Until the statewide mask mandate is eliminated, it continues to be a willful violation of the law to enact board policy or explicit practices that remove masking or allow for noncompliance within your buildings.”