BOE calls meeting Monday

Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Demopolis Board of Education has called a special meeting to allow community members express their concerns over Leon Clark’s soon-to-be-expired contract.

The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at the central office, despite a local grassroots organization’s formal request that it be moved to a larger location.

Excellence in Education (EIE) Tuesday asked that the meeting be moved from the central office to the Demopolis High School campus to better accommodate what is expected to be a crowd that could easily number into the hundreds.

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A meeting called last Thursday drew more than 200 interested students, teachers, parents and community leaders.

“I requested the meeting be moved from the central office to a room that would accommodate all those that would like to participate,” said Mark Boland, a member of EIE. “I suggested either the high school gymnasium or the auditorium, with the auditorium preferable due to the acoustics.”

That request was denied Tuesday afternoon.

A call to Superintendent of Education Dr. Al Griffin was not returned but board attorney Alex Braswell confirmed that Monday’s meeting would, indeed, be held in the board room.

“That’s just where the board meets,” he said.

Last week a large group gathered in the central office board room and were denied an opportunity to speak at that meeting despite its attempts to be added to the agenda. At Monday’s meeting, BOE officials have asked EIE to provide five speakers who each will be allowed to address the board with their concerns.

“(The board) isn’t trying to limit the number of people who can speak, necessarily,” Braswell said. “We’re just trying to get an idea for how long the meeting will last. If (EIE) needs, seven people – or ever how many – that’s fine. They just need to let us know.”

The board solicited the help of Olen Kerby, who is also a member of EIE, in recruiting the speakers. Kerby said Tuesday he has not completed his list of speakers but expected to have done so later this week.