Ruling should end issue of removal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2000

We hope a judge’s ruling this week will put an end to the lingering controversy over the removal of a former Natchez-Adams School District superintendent.

Chancery Court Judge Kennie Middleton ruled Thursday that the school board did not violate Dr. Willie Hoskin’s rights when it chose not to renew his contract in 1998.

At the time, the decision caused a rift in our community between the supporters of Hoskin and others, including the majority of the school board members, who said a change in leadership was necessary to bring about changes in the public schools.

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After a lengthy hearing process, Hoskin appealed the decision to the chancery court. Nearly two years later, we have a ruling.

Middleton’s ruling dismissed Hoskin’s claim that the board’s decision was based on race. He then said that since the decision to remove Hoskin was based on a five-year evaluation of his performance, the board did not act arbitrarily, as Hoskin’s suit claimed.

While Hoskin certainly has the right to appeal even this judge’s decision, we hope he will not.

The school district — and Hoskin, too — need to move on and move forward.

We need to put aside lingering resentments and focus our energies on making real and measurable improvements in the district — at all levels.

The Natchez-Adams School District, its students, its parents and its teachers and administrators face enough challenges without the added concerns of a lingering lawsuit over a 2-year-old decision to change administrators.

It’s time for all of us to move on … and move forward.