Court Orders Darbi Boddy to Stay Away from Fellow Lakota School Board Member

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones addressed rumors Boddy may ignore the order on Facebook: "If you violate a civil protection order, you will be arrested on-site."

click to enlarge Lakota School Board member Darbi Boddy - Photo: Boddy for Lakota on Facebook
Lakota School Board member Darbi Boddy
Editor's note: This story was updated to include statements from the Butler County Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney.

A controversial conservative board member for Lakota Local Schools, who is known for crusading against "woke" culture, has been ordered by a Butler County judge to stay away from one of her colleagues.

On Sept. 20, Butler County Magistrate Matthew Reed and Common Pleas Court Judge Greg Howard issued a civil stalking protection order against Darbi Boddy to protect the complainant, fellow board member Isaac Adi, from ongoing harassment.

"It's ridiculous, and we are appealing," Boddy told CityBeat.

The following day, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Gmoser issued a public statement to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, addressing reports that Boddy was planning to ignore the order while a 10-day appeals process plays out.

"It has been reported that [Boddy] does not intend to follow the order during such appeal time and expects therefore to be arrested and pursue all available rights based on such arrest," the statement reads.

Jones posted photos of Gmoser's statement on Facebook, saying the order is in immediate effect and, barring a successful appeal, will remain so until Sept. 20, 2025.

"There will be no preferred treatment no matter your elected position, if you violate a civil protection order, you will be arrested on-site," reads a post from the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

The allegations

The order details a months-long pattern of targeted harassment from Boddy towards Adi.

"[Adi] contends that certain actions taken by [Boddy] have caused, and will continue to cause, him mental distress. He further contends that the mental distress caused by [Boddy] has resulted in hospitalization," the order reads.

Adi testified that he was hospitalized for three days due to stress, and witnesses testified that Adi had indicated his health was declining as a result of interactions with Boddy.

The order, which took effect on Sept. 20, bars Boddy from going to Adi's home and place of employment, which includes Lakota School Board meetings.

Lakota Local Schools spokesperson Betsy Fuller told CityBeat the district will "review the order and make adjustments as needed."

Fellow board member Julie Shaffer and board president Lynda O'Connor both testified in support of Adi, as well as assistant superintendent Stacy Maney. Boddy's side did not offer up anyone to testify in her defense.

Court documents show witnesses testified that Boddy's presence at meetings caused "some concern for the safety of all individuals in attendance," and that school resource officers were specifically stationed during meetings because of Boddy.

The order also addresses Boddy's concealed carry status, but notes she has never been known to carry a weapon during any of the interactions outlined in the order.

A timeline of tension between Boddy and Adi

Boddy first ran alongside Adi, a fellow Republican, in 2021. They appeared on the Butler County Republicans' slate card and appeared at campaign events together. Like Boddy, Adi ran a campaign that stood against Critical Race Theory, but in an August interview with CityBeat, said he's yet to find any proof of a curriculum that matches Boddy's description of CRT at Lakota Schools.

“Some board members started to create lies, saying some things that are not there,” Adi said. “But the question is, where is it? Show me. Give us evidence."

Their relationship quickly soured once Boddy began intensely crusading against CRT, 
a lens through which scholars explain how racial bias is inherent in many parts of western society, especially in its legal and social institutions. Boddy is also known to rail against all things gender-inclusivity related, diversity programs, and anyone who remotely pushed back against her, including Adi.

In April 2023, Adi and Boddy attended a conservative leadership conference in Florida, during which Boddy confronted Adi in front of hundreds of attendees by reading prepared statements where she claims Adi is not conservative enough, according to court documents.

“As [Boddy] saw their beliefs diverge, she felt it necessary to act in a manner so as to make [Adi] see the error of his ways and convince him to, once again, align with her,” the judge writes. “[Boddy] was often the only board member voting against certain issues, issues she felt [Adi] should be in agreement with her on. Rather than try to work through their differences, or respect [Adi's] possible change of beliefs, [Boddy] took every opportunity to exert pressure, bully, and, at times, punish [Adi] by embarrassing him in front of others.”

Boddy told CityBeat in an email response that she respects Adi.

"I respect Isaac and I wish him well," Boddy said. "I will continue to carry out my responsibilities as an elected board member."

A June incident previously reported by CityBeat was also outlined in the court's decision. Boddy posted a video to Facebook on June 22 where she is recording Adi as she follows him out of a board meeting, confronting him for allegedly telling Boddy her “brain is empty.” Adi can be seen pushing Boddy's phone away, prompting Boddy to tell Adi, “You just assaulted me.” Boddy filed an assault report with Butler County Sheriff’s Office, who ultimately determined the incident was not an assault, closing the investigation.

The court also said Boddy confronted Adi in August at a board committee meeting, two days after Adi requested the protection order. She again recorded him during the interaction.

"At some point [Adi] stepped out to take a work related call. Upon his return, [Boddy] proceeded to, according to one of the witnesses, badger [Adi] about his absence. She repeatedly asked him about his absence, to which he kept responding that he did not answer to her," the order reads. "Not satisfied with his answer, she pulled out her phone and appeared to start videotaping [Adi]. Shortly thereafter, [Adi] started to show signs of distress."

The campaign to remove Boddy

A signature campaign to remove Boddy from her seat on the board far predates Adi's recent protection order.
Rachel Zipperian is one of the organizers behind She told CityBeat the recent protection order against Boddy exemplifies what the campaign has been complaining about all along.

"Harassment is harassment. There's no protection against board members harassing other board members or harassing the staff. I mean, you saw what happened when multiple of our school leaders resigned because of her harassment," Zipperian said.

The district's former superintendent, Matt Miller, resigned in January, citing harassment and hostility from Boddy in a letter to the board. Boddy accused Miller of pedophilia and personally promoting CRT at Lakota Schools. Complaints from Boddy and community members led to an investigation from the Butler County Sheriff’s department, which found no probable cause for criminal charges against Miller, according to the board. He resigned anyway.

"Her 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 said in the letter. "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."

Zipperian said the start of the new school year has reignited the effort to remove Boddy from her board seat before her term ends in December 2026.

"Our petition to have her removed was always about based on her behavior, her conduct. It's definitely consistent. We need about 1,500 more Lakota resident signatures to be able to take legal action from our end."

So far, the petition campaign’s website says they have 69% of the needed signatures (up from 60% in August) to advance to the next step, which is a formal legal process before a judge in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas.

Boddy told CityBeat in August that she’s not worried about the removal petition. She said it’s just “what the political left does.”

“It's a misinformation and smear campaign, and if they ever try to advance it will be proven to be just that,” she said.

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About The Author

Madeline Fening

Madeline Fening is CityBeat’s investigative news reporter. Proudly born and raised in Middletown, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Austin, Texas where she dabbled in documentary filmmaking, digital news and bartending. Madeline then moved to Cincinnati to work for WCPO 9 News as an...
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