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Darbi Boddy attends Lakota Schools meeting despite protective order from fellow board member

Isaac Adi sought a protective order for what he claimed to be consistent harassment amounting to stalking
Lakota School Board Meeting
Posted at 10:20 PM, Oct 02, 2023

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Before a public listening session of the Lakota School Board, board member Isaac Adi sat with his hands covering his face.

His fellow board member, Darbi Boddy, was hours earlier granted permission to attend the meeting by Judge J. Howard in an opinion that said Boddy's constituents were being harmed by requirements she not be allowed within 500 feet of Adi.

Adi's attorneys argued being in Boddy's presence was causing him mental health issues.

RELATED | Fellow Lakota school board member files protection order against Darbi Boddy

The legal wranglings over Boddy's behavior detailed in legal filings date back to Aug. 16, and some parents have been watching the ruling allowing Boddy to be at the meeting and be heard as a board member closely.

"Since I am a free speech guy, I agree to that," David Gelb said. "But then that's why you're interviewing me, so I can say what I want about them."

Gelb said that with his free speech, he wanted to tell both Boddy and Adi that their bickering with each other and Boddy's consistent clashes with school officials are not welcome anymore.

He said his kids' college aspirations depend on it.

"(Colleges) especially in the state of Ohio, but nationally, see what's going on in the school district and say 'Oh, you're from that school district? You guys are kind of a mess over there.' That could affect my son's ability to go to college. He's a straight 'A' student," Gelb said.

Boddy's attorney, Robert Croskery, called Judge Howard's ruling that Boddy could attend the meeting and vote important for representative democracy.

He said that no matter one's opinion of Boddy or her politics, more than 8,000 people voted for her to represent their values on the board.

"They want her to be their advocate, and she's doing that," Croskery said.

Croskery said he would continue to fight the broader protective order and has appealed it in the 12th District Court of Appeals. He indicated he would be willing to take the case to the US Supreme Court if necessary.

"I will take it as far as it is necessary to go to vindicate Darbi Boddy," Croskery said. "I believe this decision was flawed from the start. I believe it is flawed structurally, it is flawed procedurally, and it is morally outrageous."

Adi would not comment on the protective order or the reversal of Boddy's ability to attend meetings, and his attorney, Rob Lyons, didn't return a phone call or email.

The district provided a statement that read, "Our focus is on our students and their education. Neither the District nor the Board are involved in the protection order, which is a matter between two individual board members. The execution of the order will be up to the courts and law enforcement agencies."

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