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CPS Board Member Melanie Bates Not Running For Reelection

CPS Board Member Melanie Bates pictured entering a school board meeting on Feb. 13, 2021.
Cory Sharber
CPS Board Member Melanie Bates pictured entering a school board meeting on Feb. 13, 2021.

Longtime Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education Member Melanie Bates said she won't run for re-election this year.

Bates, who has been in office 20 years, will leave the school board when her current term expires Dec. 31.

She made the announcement Monday on Facebook.

"My journey with CPS began when my children started preschool and I became an active parent volunteer," Bates said in her Facebook post. "I have seen our district evolve with unprecedented academic improvement, enrollment gains, and the construction of district-wide, state-of-the-art facilities."

Bates concluded the statement saying she will continue to stay involved with CPS as an active volunteer and grandparent.

In February, Bates admitted to being caught on video making disparaging remarks about Walnut Hills High School parents when the district was making decisions about returning to in-person learning during the pandemic.

Bates said she was venting during a private conversation, during which she allegedly said, “I’m so sick of these Walnut Hills people.” Referring to teachers, she also allegedly said, “Suck it up and go back to work. They’re a bunch of f***ing whiners making 70 to 80 thousand dollars a year.”

She then apologized for the remarks at a board meeting. During the meeting's hearing from the public, multiple speakers called for Bates to resign, including a student, parent and a teacher.

Bates is the second CPS board member to not seek reelection. Board Vice President Ryan Messer also said he would not pursue reelection earlier this year.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.