Justin Harris delivers award at Alma School District, to dismay of some teachers | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Justin Harris delivers award at Alma School District, to dismay of some teachers

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 1:55 PM


I've been told that Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) made remarks at the podium during the the Alma School District's convocation yesterday. Several teachers have said they disapproved of his presence.

Harris is the state legislator and preschool owner who, along with his wife, Marsha, adopted two young girls and later rehomed them with a family where one of them was later sexually abused. He represents a legislative district centering on West Fork — a good thirty miles north of Alma — but Mike McSpadden, an assistant superintendent in Alma schools, said there's some geographic overlap. McSpadden said Harris attended the ceremony to give an award to a retiring school administrator after Rep. Charlotte Douglas, a fellow Republican, could not attend as planned.

"Rep. Charlotte Douglas, a resident of Alma, was scheduled to present a proclamation from the House of Representatives to Mr. Ronnie Newton, Assistant Superintendent of the Alma School District , who was being honored for his retirement yesterday. Rep. Douglas could not attend since a bill she was sponsoring was being discussed at the session in Little Rock, so she asked Rep. Harris, who represents part of the Alma School District, to make the presentation in her absence. He was not an invited speaker; he was a replacement presenter," McSpadden said in an email.

Coincidentally, our cover story in this week's Times concerns the question of whether Justin and Marsha Harris will ever face consequences for their actions, or whether Justin Harris will continue serving as an elected representative as if nothing ever happened. His return to regular civic duties — such as presenting awards at a school district — points towards the latter. The fact that Douglas felt that Harris would be a worthy replacement also speaks volumes. There has been surprisingly little censure of Harris from other Arkansas public officials.

Not so with the general public, including many from West Fork — and Alma. On Facebook, one Alma teacher said of Harris' appearance at the ceremony, "The people I was sitting with were aghast when we spotted him. I mean our jaws were dropped."

I'm also waiting to hear confirmation about some interesting remarks Harris supposedly made while on stage at the award ceremony.

Tags: , , ,


Comments (25)

Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

  • Little Rock mayoral candidates square off in forum

    If Frank Scott's candidacy speaks to the hope of bridging racial divides, Baker Kurrus' message of centrist unity seems intended to appeal to those weary of partisan conflict. Sabin, meanwhile, hopes to capitalize on the big turnout among progressives expected this cycle.
    • Oct 16, 2018
  • Update: Arkansas's work requirement drops another 4,100 from Medicaid in October

    Combined with coverage losses in September, the state has now dropped 8,500 Medicaid recipients from the rolls due to the work requirement.
    • Oct 15, 2018
  • Contrasts between LR mayoral candidates emerge at forum on homelessness

    Kurrus and Sabin both spoke in generalities about the need for city government to better systematize the delivery of services for people experiencing homelessness. But they diverged on a few key issues, including public transportation and the question of providing services to people living in camps. (Frank Scott wasn't present.)
    • Oct 11, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation