L’Anse Creuse Board of Education board censure decision tabled

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published July 14, 2021

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A local school board member will have to wait and see if action is taken to censure him.

At the June 28 L’Anse Creuse Public Schools Board of Education meeting, which lasted over five hours, an item brought up included the censure of Trustee Shane Sellers.

Ultimately, the motion to censure Sellers was tabled until further notice.

Sellers was elected to be on the board in November at the age of 18. He is a 2020 graduate of L’Anse Creuse High School-North in Macomb Township.

The board initially went into closed session for about 25 minutes to discuss the staffing manner.

The resolution to censure Sellers states it is alleged that he violated board policies and procedures, abused his authority as a trustee, and engaged in conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety.

Alleged actions cited include Sellers demanding that he and a guest be seated at L’Anse Creuse High School-North musical without buying tickets and in contradiction of the district’s COVID-19 protocols; used his district-issued badge to enter L’Anse Creuse High School-North with a friend on the weekend when the building was closed, triggering the intruder alarm and causing “significant expense” to the district, including law enforcement dispatch; and sitting with the girls basketball team and entering the girls locker room during an away basketball game.

Of the three allegations, Sellers said two of them are completely false. He admits to entering the high school.

“I shouldn’t have done it, and it was a huge mistake,” he said. “No bill has been presented for the ‘significant expense’ to the district.”

Sellers said he entered the school with a friend after playing tennis. They sat in the commons area and used the restroom.

Regarding him demanding a seat at the musical, Sellers said he would never do that. Sellers said he was functioning under the board’s operating procedures in that a board member has an open invite to all events at the performing arts center where the musical was held.

Sellers called the locker room allegation “highly tainted” and gave him great concern.

He said he was the volunteer statistician for the girls team, and at home games at halftime, he is never in a locker room, usually in a classroom. For away games, the team goes wherever the school says its halftime area is.

“I went in there only when a coach said, ‘Shane, it’s OK to come in.’ There was no changing,” Sellers said. “In previous school years, no one other than the players on the team were ever in the locker room when changing was happening.”

The resolution states that the board believes that Sellers’ behavior violates two sections of the board’s policies and procedures.

Additional findings are that Sellers abused his position for trustee for personal gain, discredits, and adversely and materially impacts the district.

Treasurer Terri Spencer thought when the board last met, it was going to further discuss the censure.

“The censure was constructed, and we haven’t had the opportunity as a board to discuss that wording and choices and options related to this,” she said.

Spencer said that the prudent action for the board to take is to reconvene, making sure it adheres to the same practices previously used for a censure.

“The fact we are moving backward again is disappointing,” Sellers said. “Why are we returning to this resolution when nothing has been done, including even discussing it with the board?”

He remarked that no investigation was done prior to the May 17 meeting, and no investigation has occurred since.

Sellers said the resolution is riddled with lies that amount to nothing more than a personal and political attack.     

He then commented that the timing of the resolution is interesting, in that “Mary gets mad, as usual at me and poof, even while missing last week’s meeting.” He was then cut off, with Board President Hilary Dubay saying Sellers made an accusation of an individual by name and if he makes a second accusation, Trustee Mary Hilton has the right to move the discussion to closed session.

“Even while missing last week’s meeting and vacationing in Cabo, Mrs. Dubay places this back on the agenda,” Sellers said. “It’s clear the two of you enjoy using this as a political yo-yo.”

At that point, Hilton requested to move into closed session. The board was in closed session this time for almost 90 minutes.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for July 26.

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