Miami-Dade School Board member collapses after his swearing-in ceremony

Miami Herald | by David Goodhue and Colleen Wright | November 17, 2020

Miami-Dade School Board member Steve Gallon III lost consciousness right after delivering his swearing-in speech on Tuesday morning in the district’s auditorium.

Gallon, who represents the county’s northern-most district, just wrapped up his speech when he passed out around 10:30 a.m. and collapsed to the floor.

Moments before, while delivering his remarks, he complained about his voice becoming hoarse, and he grabbed a bottle of water.

After he passed out, people gathered around to offer aid before paramedics arrived. The district’s live webcast of the event then went to a cartoon.

A Miami Herald reporter texted Gallon asking if he was OK, and he replied, “Yes.”

Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo addressed the meeting shortly after an ambulance took Gallon to the hospital and said his family told him, “He is alert, conscious and he wants to be here. So, that is all very good news.”

Gallon’s condition wasn’t immediately clear, but he was well enough to call in to the meeting from the hospital at 12:43 p.m. to vote along with eight of his colleagues for the re-election of Perla Tabares Hantman as chair of the 10-member elected board.

“Hello, are we nominating for chair,” he said over the speakers at the auditorium to applause from those in attendance.

His colleagues in turn re-elected him as vice chair of the board. The vote was 9-1. Board Member Marta Perez voted against both Gallon’s and Tabares Hantman’s nomination, she said, not because she did not support them, but because she believes the positions should be rotated yearly.

“All constituents should have the opportunity to have their School Board member as chair,” Perez said.

Miami Herald visual journalist Jose Iglesias contributed to this report.

Photo: School Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon III speaks during a Coronavirus School conference at the School Board Administration Building in Miami on Friday March 13, 2020 SEBASTIAN BALLESTAS SEBASTIANBALLESTAS1@GMAIL.COM

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