Lakota superintendent Matt Miller: Board member Darbi Boddy 'destroyed my career'

Matt Miller announced his resignation to the community on Wednesday. A letter he sent to the Lakota School Board on Thursday further explained his reasoning for stepping down from the superintendent position.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the results of two investigations into the behavior of outgoing Lakota Schools Superintendent Matt Miller and school board member Darbi Boddy's characterization of the precipitating allegations.

Outgoing Lakota Local Schools Superintendent Matt Miller gave further details about his decision to resign in a scathing letter to the school board on Thursday.

Miller wrote that board member Darbi Boddy created a "nightmare" for him and his family, and the rest of the board did not protect him from her harassment. The impact of her words resulted in him receiving several death threats and an attempted break-in at his home, Miller wrote.

The Enquirer received the letter through Miller's counsel, Elizabeth Tuck.

"It should come as no surprise," Miller wrote, that "when faced with a chance to take another position outside the school system, I had no alternative but to take it because of the increasingly hostile work environment caused by Ms. Boddy."

Boddy's "crusade to force me to resign is direct retaliation for my efforts to protect Lakota students of all genders and races from her destructive efforts," Miller wrote to the school board. "While the rest of the Board does not share Ms. Boddy's views, the fact remains that she has succeeded in her efforts and destroyed my career in the bargain."

Boddy told The Enquirer that Miller's departure is "an important step in taking back our schools" in a text Friday morning.

"Our schools and our children have been under assault from the radical political left," Boddy said in the message. "They dominate every institution involved in education today."

Lakota school board is reviewing Miller's letter

Miller announced to the community Wednesday that he would leave Lakota at the end of the month. The school board approved his resignation at a special meeting held Thursday evening and appointed Robb Vogelmann as the district's interim superintendent.

Board President Lynda O'Connor said the board received Miller's resignation letter shortly before Thursday's meeting. In a short statement released Friday afternoon, O'Connor said the board's legal counsel is reviewing Miller's statements without further comment.

"Our focus is on meeting the individual learning needs of Lakota’s 17,500 students and moving our district forward under the leadership of Mr. Vogelmann and (Treasurer) Mr. Zink," O'Connor wrote.

Miller says board member Darbi Boddy's harassment contributed to his resignation.

Since the start of this school year, Boddy has repeated claims that Miller engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct and fantasies. These claims brought forth by Boddy and other community members led to two investigations – by the Butler County Sheriff's Office and a private investigator hired by the school board – neither of which found the allegations grounds for criminal charges or dismissal..

Boddy continued to state the allegations during school board meetings after Miller was cleared by both investigations.

The fact that Miller, "after all that has been revealed" about him, has now been hired by another educational organization within Butler County proves how much power radical liberals have in the education field, Boddy said in her Friday statement.

"The fact that they hired him is proving to be a frightening shock to this community, but not to those who understand the depths of the problems, we face," Boddy wrote.

Miller and Boddy clashed before allegations

Tension between Boddy and Miller was brewing before the allegations were brought forth in August, mostly over Boddy's claim that critical race theory is being taught to Lakota students. Miller has maintained that the theory is not being taught. The issue came to a head in May when Boddy made unannounced visits to Lakota's schools and took pictures of rainbow artwork, history projects about the Civil Rights movement and stickers in support of LGBTQ students. The district issued Boddy a notice of trespassing for the stunt.

In his letter, Miller wrote Boddy "outright lied" about him in public and private meetings, and in conversations with citizens.

"The efforts to which she and others went to achieve my resignation have terrified me and my family," Miller wrote. "Multiple death threats were made against me as a result of her campaign, and I have good reason to believe that Ms. Boddy was behind an attempt by one of her cohorts to gain access inside my home."

Miller writes that the board was made aware of these things, but that no action was taken to protect him or his family.

"Perhaps the most unfortunate part is that because Ms. Boddy has been permitted to succeed, the students, parents and staff of Lakota are likely to be impacted by her and her supporters' troubling agenda for months and years to come," Miller wrote.

Miller has taken a job with the Butler County Educational Service Center, where he'll be working as the coordinator of innovative education. His last day at Lakota is Jan. 31.

Miller Resignation Letter 1-19-23 by CincinnatiEnquirer on Scribd

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Lakota superintendent Matt Miller: Board member 'destroyed my career'