With the voting results of the August Primary showing a majority to recall three Richland School Board Members, one bid farewell during last night's board meeting, another expressed hopes of returning and the third was absent.

Board Vice President Audra Byrd told a packed room that her time on the board has come to an end.

"Because of my belief in the democratic process, I want to make sure the voice of the people is honored. I will be excusing myself early from this meeting."

Byrd did take a couple minutes to thank her fellow board members and share what she'll be doing moving forward.

"I am relieved to take a little break from the ugly side that accompanies a position like this. And I'm looking forward to being able to focus more on my own personal family and their well-being. So, thank you again for this experience and God bless you." Byrd said.

Some in attendance stood in support of Byrd as she exited board room. Many remain seated.

attachment-board crowd

The emotional farewell was followed by remarks from Kari Williams whose days on the board aren't exactly numbered. She's one of the leading vote-getters in her bid to fill the seat again as board member.

"I second what Audra said. It was great," Williams added. "I'm just grateful to this great community and this great district. I'm eager to return in November."

Semi Bird, who faces ouster as well, did not attend the meeting.

The recall effort was launched last year following votes by the three board members to make Covid masks optional, ultimately violating the state's mask mandate.

All three recall measures are passing with about 54% of the vote.

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