EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Utah Education Board member responds to critics ahead of meeting

Feb 14, 2024, 1:56 PM | Updated: 2:59 pm

FILE: The Utah State Board of Education is pictured in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Bo...

The Utah State Board of Education voted unanimously to request that controversial board member Natalie Cline resign from her position, effective immediately. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Questioning what she calls due process, Utah Board of Education member Natalie Cline is responding to criticism and to calls for her resignation. 

On Facebook, Cline shared a letter she sent to the Utah State Board of Education and said the board is moving too fast for her to properly respond to allegations that she bullied a high school student in Utah.

Utah State Board of Education Member Natalie Cline under Board investigation

The firestorm started last week after a now-deleted post Cline shared on social media. That post featured a photo of a high school basketball team in the Granite School District along with a banner with some of the team’s players.

The caption read “Girl’s basketball … .” 

Since then, Utah’s governor and lieutenant governor, the student’s parents, the school district, various non-profit groups and multiple city councils have all condemned the post. Many people are asking for Cline to resign her post on the Board.

Utah House opens resolution to address actions of education board member Natalie Cline

Even Cline’s employer, the Utah State Board of Education, is responding. They have scheduled a meeting for Wednesday afternoon.

Utah education official Cline response to critics

“Hardened criminals get better due process than I am being provided,” Cline wrote in a Facebook post.

For the most part, Cline’s Facebook post addressed the meeting called by the board, and whether the meeting and the board’s response to Cline’s critics may be a form of election interference. 

Parents of female student-athlete at the center of controversy call on school board member to resign

“The @utboardofed is moving so quickly that they are making it impossible for me to read through all the materials they have provided, gather evidence, draft a response, and prepare for a hearing,” Cline posted.

According to the 2024 Candidate Filings posted on the Utah government webpage, Cline has filed to retain her seat on the state school board. 

In her recent post, Cline suggests that the board’s meeting on Wednesday could be seen as election interference because of the timing of Wednesday’s meeting.

Citing the U.S. Department of Justice, Cline questions the appropriateness of Wednesday’s meeting. Specifically, she’s concerned about a meeting held less nearly 60 days ahead of the Salt Lake County GOP Convention, scheduled for April 13, 2024.

Utah State Board of Education responds to Cline’s concerns

On Wednesday afternoon, the Utah Board of Education responded to Cline’s concern about potential election interference, indicating among other things that a law cited by Cline (UCA 20A-1-102(63) applies only to Utah’s Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Auditor, and State Treasurer. In other words, those elected officials in Utah’s Executive branch of government.


 

 

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Utah Education Board member responds to critics ahead of meeting