Efforts to land on school board agenda thwarted

Published 12:03 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

VIDALIA — Efforts by a local group to be placed on the Concordia Parish School Board’s meeting agenda has been halted because of failure to follow policy.

Kaitlin Jones, a Vidalia High School graduate, said on social media site Fabebook she and a group of Vidalia residents who are against Concordia Parish Superintendent Paul Nelson’s decisions to reassign school administration officials, were taken off the agenda for the board’s monthly meeting, which is today at 6 p.m.

“This is not fair and as residents of the community we should be allowed to voice our opinion,” Jones said in a comment on Facebook. “We are taught to fight for what we believe in and stand up for what is right and that is exactly what we are doing and they are trying to stop us from being heard.”

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Nelson, who approves the agenda prior to the meeting, said the group, which has been out in the public gathering petitions to halt administration changes, did not follow procedure.

“You have to request to be put on the agenda 10 days prior to the meeting in writing,” Nelson said.

Nelson said another option to be placed on the agenda is to discuss the matter with him, where he would decide whether or not the item of discussion can be dealt with by staff or board members.

However, school board members can’t vote on personnel matters — they can only approve them.

Those against the decisions of Nelson met in the parking lot near the Vidalia Pizza Hut on June 2 to sign a petition urging school leaders to reverse administration changes, including the transfer of Rick Brown.

Brown was recently reassigned to Ferriday Lower Elementary School following 17 years as Vidalia High School’s principal, and 38 total years working in high schools.

Administration changes are effective July 1.

Nelson reported earlier this month that he stands by his decision to move several school administrators, despite ongoing controversy.

Nelson said the decision to move Brown and other officials would benefit the district.