Today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution includes an article about a citizen protest against the Clayton County School Board. Clayton is only two weeks away from a vote that could revoke their accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
My Feb. 27, 2008 column in The Leader-Tribune noted the similarities and differences betwee the Peach County BOE and their Clayton counterparts. In short, both boards are in hot water for “infighting among board members, meddling in day-to-day operations of schools and violations of board procedures.” However, there now seems little the Clayton BOE can do to fight off losing their accreditation, while the Peach BOE has about a year to get things right, and who knows how much longer after that year, depending on the outcome.
Some Clayton protesters wanted the whole nine-member board to resign; others focused on four members who’ve caught the most flak. Likewise, in Peach County, some call for a whole new board, others would settle for the heads of Norma Givens, Kay Whitley and Jamie Johnson. Board member Jody Usry did offer to resign at one point, which led to an exchange of letters in the The Leader-Tribune, some declaring it’s about time, others saying Usry is the last one who should resign. Some have called for recalls in both counties. Clayton protesters plan to make their resignation demand in the BOE’s faces Monday, and, failing to get that demand met, plan to present recall petitions to the state board of elections Tuesday.
Peach County has an opportunity, with brand new Superintendent Dr. Susan Clark, to plug the holes and right the listing ship. Before we ask for heads on a platter, let’s see what Dr. Clark can do. The last thing she needs to start an already difficult job is even more turmoil. Let’s give her our enthusiastic support and save the rotten tomatoes long enough to see some results. What say you all?