Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More info on BOE action

James Simms has decided to stay with the Clarke County Board of Education, and District Five representative John Knight asked that I share this statement which sheds some additional light on the actual policy changes as well as his thoughts on the matter ...

I am writing you because you recently took the time to write me as a member of the Clarke County Board of Education concerning interim Superintendent James Simms or the issues he raised in his letter of resignation. I realize that this response took some time for some of you and I apologize for that, but it would not have been appropriate for me to speak publicly regarding a pending personnel matter. I am elated to report that Mr. Simms has decided not to resign, and for our part, the Board has determined to officially pass as policy that which we already know -- the Board should not interfere in administrative matters.

For weeks now I have not spoken publicly, knowing that anything I said would seem self-serving, and my sole purpose is to work for the children and employees of this district. I will not be airing out my grievances in the local newspaper. After much thought, though, I feel that I owe it to the people of District 5 to make you aware of several facts. First and foremost, I want my constituents to know that I am not one of those people to whom Mr. Simms referred in his resignation letter regarding the anonymous accusations of wrongdoing on the part of Board members. Second, I voted tonight not to go into executive session because I am a public official, responsible to the citizens of Clarke County for an open, transparent process. Most importantly, as an attorney who practices education law, I am acutely aware of the different roles of Superintendent and Board Member, and I have at all times honored that distinction. I believed that James Simms was the best person for this position when I voted for him in August of this year and I am certain that he still is today. I am excited that he will continue to lead this district forward, I look forward to working with him, and I appreciate you very much for taking the time to write me to give me your views as well. I hope that you will continue to do so in the future.

John Knight


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