UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — Parents of students protested outside the Upper Arlington Board of Education special executive session Thursday, pleading with the board to not discipline an administrator who was recorded discussing critical race theory in school.

A video posted by a conservative self-proclaimed media watchdog shows the administrator, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion Matthew Boaz, having a conversation related to critical race theory with two people who claimed to be interested in enrolling a student. The district said Wednesday the videos were recorded under false pretenses and Boaz did not know he was being recorded.

Although Upper Arlington school board members did not say whether the executive session was related to the video, about two dozen parents came to the meeting to urge the board to disregard the footage.

“Your time and resources should go to ensuring our kids are learning. Not toward responding to propaganda,” one parent said as board members entered executive session.

Prater said the board’s decision to have executive session threatened to give the video “bigger legs than it already has.”

Parent Rebecca McClung said she was tired — it’s not the first time she’s heard of a similar stunt in the district.

“They’re pulling us into the national spotlight for something that should be a non event, and I’m just tired of it,” McClung said. “I wish they wouldn’t do this. It puts a target on our backs. I’m going to keep pushing and I want them to just stop — leave our kids our teachers and administrators alone.” 

Before the board entered executive session, it heard a motion to allow public comment — but it declined to do so as public comment was not on the agenda.

The school board declined to comment Thursday. In a statement Wednesday, Upper Arlington interim Superintendent Kathy Jenney said the district was taking the incident “very seriously” and that the district is committed to “ensuring our schools are places where every student is welcomed, respected, celebrated and supported while receiving the highest quality education.”