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Debbie Walton resigns from East Lansing Public Schools Board of Education

East Lansing High School photo
East Lansing Public Schools
East Lansing Board of Education member Debbie Walton announced her resignation on Thursday, Feb. 16.

The East Lansing Public Schools Board of Education is looking to fill a vacancy following the resignation of member Debbie Walton.

Walton says she resigned for personal reasons, citing a desire to spend more time with her family.

Her departure comes just two weeks after Kath Edsall stepped down from her role as board president in the midst of public criticism about her response to school safety concerns.

Walton says her decision is completely separate from Edsall’s action.

“It came down to a very personal decision, and I do feel bad about letting down people who supported me and who voted for me, and I don’t take the decision lightly,” Walton said.

The East Lansing Public Schools is overhauling its safety plans in the wake of several violent incidents mainly occurring at the high school.

In January, a gun fell from a student’s backpack at the site of a fight that broke out after a boys’ basketball game.

Walton says she “truly agonized” over her decision to resign from the board.

“I’m aware that my stepping down comes at a time when there’s a lot of turbulence,” she added. “But as I said, it was something I needed to do, and I do feel like the administration and the board are hearing the concerns and are fully ready to address them.”

The board is now accepting applications for Walton’s replacement, who will serve through the end of 2024.

The application deadline is February 24 at 4 p.m.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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