JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - In the continuing fallout from a texting scandal involving a 17-year-old male, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni has told the parish school board that he will voluntarily suspend all school appearances.
In a letter, Yenni told the board: "I recognize the concern that I have caused you in your role as a member of the Jefferson parish school board and have voluntarily suspended all appearance related to Jefferson parish schools, I'm not going to burden you with my personal challenge and I'm hopeful that further scrutiny will prove that I made a disappointing mistake."
The board moved to instruct the schools superintendent to enforce Yenni's "self-imposed" ban until an official vote on the ban in three weeks, entering a resolution to formally ban the Parish President at their next meeting.
"He still has questions he has to answer, it was noble of him to try, but again, we have to protect our students," School Board member Marion Bonura said.
But Marjorie Esman with the ACLU of Louisiana said that despite Yenni's admission of sending improper texts to a young man, there shouldn't be cause for concern among parents of school-aged kids.
"This is really an overreaction and this is not in any way to condone what Mike Yenni did. He knew that he was doing something wrong," Esman said. "There's no evidence that he actually hurt anyone, all he did was misuse somebody's cell phone number, then let's tailor the response to what he did."
Still, school board member Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge wanted to send a strong message to parents who see Yenni as a threat to their children.
"I would rather err on the side of caution than have something happen that we were aware of but did nothing about it," Denapolis-Bosarge said.