School boards have ultimate responsibility

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The superintendents of the Natchez-Adams School District and the Concordia Parish School Districts have been the targets of ire recently because of staffing decisions.

In Natchez, the turnover three times in three years of the principal’s position at Natchez High School, as well as the shuffling of other administrative positions, has some in the community in an uproar and calling for a change in district leadership.

The same thing has happened across the river.Superintendent Paul Nelson has enacted what amounts to fruit-basket turnover among principals in the district. The loudest protest surrounds the re-assigning of 17-year Vidalia High School Principal Rick Brown, who has always worked at the high school level, to become principal at Ferriday Lower Elementary. Nelson also re-assigned the school’s Assistant Principal Jana Lincecum to become the assistant principal at Monterey High School.

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Several Concordia Parish school board members complained after the board’s last Thursday meeting that they have no power over Nelson.

We beg to differ.

Ultimately, any decision made involving the school district — whether it is personnel or otherwise — is the responsibility of school board members since they hire and fire the superintendents.

If school board members are not pleased with the decisions made by the school superintendent, the school board can and should make a change in that position. School board members would do well to recall they cannot hide behind the “we had no choice but to go along with the superintendent” in defending happenings within the district.

School board members bear responsibility for the education of our children. It’s a big responsibility, often requiring difficult decisions. But that’s the charge school board members face. What’s best for our children should be where school board members’ loyalty is placed.