Voters file petition to recall three Richland school board members over mask mandate voting

RICHLAND, WA – Three Richland School Board members, Audra Byrd, M. Semi Bird, and Kari Williams, find their jobs at stake after four Richland voters, Brian Brendel, Bradley Rew, Michael Lawrence and Tony Peurrung filed a petition to recall RSD board members.

The petition states the February 15, 2022 ruling to defy the state mask mandate during a Special Meeting was “deliberately or by acting with gross negligence and a wanton disregard for the law.”

The petition also lists 10 counts of “malfeasance” and “misfeasance while in office, and violations of oath of office,” for all three members, except Semi Bird, who has an additional 2 counts, totaling 12 counts. Bird’s eleventh count alleges Bird violated RSD Code of Ethics to support and protect school personnel in proper performance of their duties,” while the twelfth count states he violated “generally overseeing district operations and taking such actions as are necessary to assure compliance with law and district policy, as well as the development of the educational program.”

Most of the counts detail accusations of how all three board member’s exceeded their authority as school board members in stating they do not have legal authority to go against a state mandate, and therefore break the law.

On account of this, Richland School District was closed for two days as they dealt with the causes of this decision. We collected proof of around 130 emails from parents who express their support and their disapproval of the Richland School Board members decision.

After Washington state Superintendent Chris Reykdal sent an email to the school board saying they need to follow the mask mandate or possibly lose school funding, Audra Byrd replied back calling him a coward.

Now that the petition has been filed with the Benton County Auditor’s Office, Benton County prosecutor Andy Miller will present the petition to a superior court judge, who will rule if the petition is worth a recall vote.

After that, petitioners will have to gather 25% of the voters signatures for it to become a recall election.

If you are not registered to vote and would like to participate in this, you can register to vote by going to or you can do it in person at your closest voting center.

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Article Source: Fox 11