Henry County board meeting ends abruptly; no sign of compromise

Published 07/18 2014 06:09PM

Updated 07/18 2014 08:47PM

Now is the time when districts start making plans for the next school year.  But the Henry County Board of Education is at a standstill.

"My main concern of the issues is that we are responsible for getting school started, and getting it started on time, and getting the personnel in place," said Henry County School Board Member Eddie L. Chambers, Sr.

He and another board member wanted the board to move forward. He says he thought he had seen it all during his 18 years on the board, and while he would not elaborate on the issues, parents and others in Henry County immediately expressed their concerns on Facebook.

Emmie Carter posted "The school board members that voted against the agenda are Dorothea Culver, Mary Wiggins and Jean Bush.  They are holding our children's education hostage because of their own personal vendettas and agendas.  If it was not clear before to the parents of this system it should be now. Those board members care nothing about the education of our children.”

Sandra Burdeshaw-Brown said, "It is a political battlefield and that is not the purpose… I think the only way to hold the board members accountable is to attend meetings and demand transparency.”

And Rhonda Hartley-Parrish asked "How many great teachers are we going to lose or miss out on before the people in this county wake up and get people like this out of there?  Decisions should be made based on what is best for the children and not personal vendettas and agendas.”

"We as board members need to realize what our duties are, and get back to them and do what we're supposed to do and be confident in what we're doing," Chambers said.

He says they've always worked through the issues.  But this time, they voted for a state intervention, which Chambers hopes will bring about a favorable resolution.

"We have got some serious issues in our board.  And we're going to work together.  We've got to work together, and get this started on the right foot for our children."

People in Henry County are also accusing the system of segregation by not enforcing zoning rules between Abbeville and Headland High Schools.

We were unable to reach the superintendent or other board members for their input.

Chambers says the state met this morning to discuss the issue, and he says the school board should learn what comes next sometime Monday.

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