Thursday, January 10, 2013

UPDATE: McClellan faculty protest principal's transfer

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 4:34 PM

McClellan teachers protest their principals proposed transferCheree Franco
  • McClellan teachers protest their principal's proposed transfer
  • Teachers and faculty from McClellan Magnet High School are planning a protest outside a special Little Rock School Board meeting this evening.

    On the agenda tonight is a personnel discussion that's thought to concern the imminent transfer of McClellan interim principal Clausey Myton to Hamilton Learning Academy. On Tuesday, district superintendent Morris Holmes informed Myton of the transfer, and Myton announced it to the teachers at a staff meeting. Myton said he was told he was being moved because teachers, parents and board members are unhappy with his performance.

    Multiple McClellan faculty members contacted the Times, but they're not willing to give their names for fear of losing their jobs. Teachers are angry about not being consulted in the decision, particularly because, in the past decade, McClellan has had high principal turnover. At least one principal and two interims have stayed less than two years. Some faculty believe Myton is being transferred because he recommended the school’s long-time secretary, Deborah Brown, for termination after she signed his signature on a letter that went out to all McClellan seniors. The letter solicited their participation in a credit recovery program that, according to McClellan faculty, Myton didn’t think made good use of fiscal resources. At least two witnesses heard him tell Brown that he wasn’t going to sign or send it.

    According to McClellan staff, the district decided not to terminate Brown. Some faculty think this is because she is friendly with several members of the school board. We've got a call in to the LRSD to verify Brown's employment status, but according to a McClellan staff member, Brown was kept on paid administrative leave from May until December and suspended for 10 days without pay in December. She has not returned to work at McClellan.

    More than one McClellan faculty member told the Times that Myton is a rarity because he does things “by the book,” meaning he follows both state code and that of the LRSD handbook. Sure enough, when reached via phone, he refused comment and referred us to Pamela Smith, Communications Officer at LRSD.

    UPDATE: About two dozen teachers showed up with handmade signs in support of Myton, despite having already been informed that public remarks are only taken on the fourth Thursday of the month. "We thought we'd come anyway, let them know that we're paying attention and we want Mr. Myton to stay where he is...he was told not to tell faculty [about the transfer], but because of the kind of principal he is, he told them he was going to tell his staff himself...they were going to carry this whole thing out with a closed vote, without letting the faculty in on it, without giving us a chance for public comment," said Sandra Nichols, who has taught at McClellan for twelve years.

    During the meeting, Holmes reminded the public that he was recommending the transfer to the board, and that he could have legally made the transfer without the board's input. He chose to bring the matter before the board in the interest of transparency. Jody Carreiro made a motion to discuss the matter in a closed session, but legal counsel said that a closed session was inappropriate to discuss a transfer under the same terms of employment. Under the Freedom of Information Act, a closed session is only permissible to discuss firings, hiring, demotions and resignations.

    There was a brief discussion about the impact a mid-year transfer might have on student achievement and if a leadership change would affect a federal social improvement grant (SIG) McClellan is currently receiving. Carreiro asked if Holmes had discussed the matter with the SIG coordinator, and Holmes said he had not and would not discuss staff changes with anyone outside of the board. "So I guess I just have to assume that you feel it would be a better fit to effectuate our SIG grant with this particular line-up," said Carreiro.

    Greg Adams made the motion to approve the transfer, and Diane Curry seconded the motion. The motion failed, three to two. Adams and Curry voted yes, Norma Jean Johnson, Tommy Branch and Michael Nellums voted no. Leslie Fisken and Carreiro refrained from voting.

    ALSO: The School Board also began a discussion of whether to place at least one armed police officer in every school, rather than just select campuses. More on that here from Channel 4.

    Tags: , , , ,

    From the ArkTimes store


    Speaking of...

    Comments (8)

    Showing 1-8 of 8

    Add a comment

    Subscribe to this thread:
    Showing 1-8 of 8

    Add a comment

    More by Cheree Franco

    Readers also liked…

    • Transgender electrician may sue employer over her firing

      Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright has ruled that Patricia Dawson, a transgender woman, may pursue her lawsuit that she was wrongfully fired by her employer, H & H Electric, because of her sex.
      • Sep 16, 2015
    • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

      Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
      • Sep 17, 2015
    • Democrats name new House minority leader

      Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
      • Sep 25, 2015

    People who saved…

    Most Shared

    • Executionpalooza

      Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Art bull

      "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
    • Not justice

      The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
    • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

      Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
    • The Ledell Lee execution thread

      Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

    Visit Arkansas

    Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

    Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

    Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

    Most Viewed

    Most Recent Comments




    © 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
    Powered by Foundation