BOE offers Clark new three year extension

Published 8:09 pm Friday, March 9, 2012

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

The Demopolis Board of Education offered DHS principal Leon Clark a second contract extension Friday, 10 days after its original offer.

Friday’s offer removes 14 addendums from the original which were largely seen as the stumbling blocks in securing Clark’s services for the coming three years.

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Board attorney Alex Braswell said the board has addressed the addendums individually with Clark but removed them from the contract itself.

“The current offer is an extension of the original contract,” Braswell said. “The 14 items have been redacted.”

Clark originally declined to sign a contract extension last Wednesday, citing the inclusion of at least some of the addendums as the reason why.

“I do not feel I can sign my contract as written,” Clark said in a prepared statement given to The Demopolis Times last week. “I have no further comment regarding it.”

The removal of the 14 items and Clark’s pending signature to the new offer brings with it near closure to an event that has polarized the town, sparking both outcry and protests.

Last Friday, students at Demopolis High School launched a walkout during their break period. The protest lasted barely 30 minutes with students parading around the grounds holding signs of their support for the principal. Other community and education advocacy groups thrust themselves to the forefront in an effort to retain Clark.

Ultimately, it was the removal of the 14 items and language that brought all parties back to the table and one-step closer resolution.

Clark has until noon Monday to accept or reject the offer. In light of the new contract offer, the Board elected to postpone the Board of Education meeting that was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday.