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Vandal apologizes to Charlo School Board

CHARLO — The Charlo School Board listened intently to the apology of a young man named Jacob Seibert at a school board meeting last Tuesday.

The young man asked the school board for forgiveness two years after “destroying” school property. Seibert, who has never been a student at Charlo, and another minor caused $80,000 worth of damage to school property, setting off fire extinguishers, which in turn knocked out the school’s electronics.

“I came to humbly ask for your guys’ forgiveness,” Seibert said, nervously. “I learned a couple things along the way and I have grown.”

“I realize what I did was wrong,” Seibert added.

Most of the board accepted his apology, but some school board members felt it was a ploy to gain admission to the school prom on Saturday. 

Seibert insisted that his apology was heartfelt and offered to do community service for the school, even if he is denied entrance to the school prom.

Seibert is being deployed to Iraq in September and when he returns on leave the following year, he plans on writing the school board a check to the tune of $40,000 in restitution for his half of the damages. 

The board deferred the decision of his attendance to prom to the school administrators. 

The board was also approached by members of the FUPS basketball league. The members of the league requested permission to use the gymnasium for their basketball tournament. The school board was hesitant to allow them access to the school facilities due to damages done to the lobby during the tournament in previous years.

The school board, administrators and FUPS representatives agreed on a $200 deposit to be paid to the school before the tournament and to be returned to the league after the tournament, if no damages have been done to school property.

Following the public comment section of the meeting, the board approved spending $65,010 to add the finishing touches to the multi-purpose building.

“Why build a new house and not paint it?” school board member Shawn Perry asked.

They decided to postpone the discussion of the purchase of the stage, gymnasium padding and the pressure tanks for the water system to the next meeting.

The bargaining committee reported that the negotiating with the classified staff is moving at a snail’s pace due mostly to the language of the contract.

The school board then discussed a dramatic 25 percent increase in the group health insurance rates for the school staff. 

District clerk Sarah Vaughan reported the individual health insurance rates jumped from $419 per month to $541 per month. The MUST health insurance company is a trust and is self-funded. According to Vaughan, the company took a turn for the worse financially a little over seven years ago. 

Vaughan reported that despite the comprehensive coverage MUST provides, the school administration should look at other insurance options. Members of the school board commented that other school districts are seeing as much as 58 percent raises in insurance premiums this year.

The next school board meeting will be held on April 20 at 7 p.m. in the school library.

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