© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Darbi Boddy is removed from Lakota's school board

Lakota board member Darbi Boddy at Community Listening Session
Zack Carreon
Lakota board member Darbi Boddy at Community Listening Session.

After a raucous two years on the Lakota Local School Board filled with politically charged feuds and legal battles, Darbi Boddy has been voted out by her fellow members.

On Wednesday, the board voted to approve a motion to have her removed after her more than 90-day absence from school board meetings.

Before the vote, Board President Julie Shaffer said Boddy's ongoing legal issues and prolonged absence was preventing the board for working effectively.

"I'm bringing forth a resolution in an effort to create a fully functional school board," Shaffer said. "There is a lot of work to be done within the district and we need all five members to participate in meetings to better support our students and staff."

Three of the four remaining board members voted in favor of Boddy's removal. Board Member Isaac Adi — a onetime Boddy ally — decided to abstain.

Boddy's absence was directly connected to a protection order filed by Adi, once her conservative political ally. The two had campaigned together in 2021, but their relationship quickly soured once they were elected to the board.

Boddy responded to WVXU's request for comment in an email Wednesday night:

"Not a day goes by when I'm not thanked by someone who lets me know that my presence has had a positive effect on the future of Lakota.

"This has always been a First Amendment issue. This corrupt process has quashed not just my voice but the voice of those who voted for me, and for that reason, I do not think it will wear well.

"It's pathetic and sad, and this is the same type of thing they are trying to do to Trump.

"I have honestly not met a single person who believes that Isaac needs to be protected from me, even those who like the outcome, know that it was a corrupt process that removed me."


Since joining in early 2022, Boddy has had disputes with just about every member of the board. But her feud with Adi escalated in 2023 when he claimed she had stalked and harassed him.

RELATED: Lakota School Board's Darbi Boddy receives civil protection order from fellow board member

According to Adi, Boddy followed him around on several occasions, citing an incident in April 2023 at a conference in Sarasota, Fla., hosted by the conservative organization The Leadership Institute. Adi says Boddy embarrassed him and the school district during the conference by drawing attention to herself and Adi multiple times in front of other attendees. He even alleges that Boddy went on stage and grabbed the microphone to falsely proclaim in front of the crowd that Adi had voted in support of LGBTQ+ issues while on the board.

The incident at the conference and several other hostile run-ins between Boddy and Adi led a judge to grant him a civil protection order against Boddy, preventing her from getting within 500 feet of him.

The protection order meant Boddy could no longer attend Lakota School Board meetings while Adi was present.

In November, Boddy attempted to attend a board committee meeting while the protection order was still in effect, resulting in a citation from the Butler County Sheriff's Office. She left after receiving the citation and is currently fighting it in court.

While serving on the board, Boddy has been at the center of several controversies. In her first few months, she was issued a notice for trespassing on school property after she made unannounced visits at two Lakota schools and ignored staff requests to remain in the main office and follow safety protocols.

The board also previously voted unanimously to censure Boddy and asked for her resignation after she posted an inappropriate link on her campaign Facebook page. Boddy refused to resign.

She was also at the center of a controversy involving former Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller, who resigned in January 2023. In his resignation letter to the school board, Miller claimed Boddy created a hostile work environment and successfully launched a crusade to force his resignation for what he claims was his "efforts to protect Lakota students of all genders and races from her destructive efforts."

RELATED: Lakota school board member wants to ban trans girls from athletics and the girl's bathroom

Boddy was known for pushing culture war issues at Lakota.

On multiple occasions, she pushed the board to pass resolutions to ban transgender students from participating in sports and using bathrooms that aligned with their gender identity. She also frequently spoke in opposition to diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, programs, and sparked protests when she used antisemitic language in a social media post criticizing Lakota's hiring practices.

The anti-transgender and anti-DEI resolutions she put forward were rejected by the board.

With Boddy now gone, the remaining school board members will need to appoint a new board member to fill her vacant seat.

Updated: March 21, 2024 at 1:44 PM EDT
This article has been updated to include a statement from Darby Boddy.
Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.