Controversy over CCSD superintendent selection process

Controversy over CCSD superintendent selection process
A teacher's certificate was revoked after police received a tip of an inappropriate relationship. (Source: AP)

The search for a new school superintendent in Charleston County is heating up, but it's not because of the candidates. It's the process that has local NAACP members outraged. They're arguing the search for a new superintendent in the Charleston County School District is too narrow, and the community is being left out.

Some School Board members say the process isn't perfect, and they understand the frustration, but they believe the current candidates could have what it takes to fill the position.

"It has been a very narrow search. It hasn't really been a search," said Joe Darby with the Charleston NAACP.

"I'm hoping we revisit the process of community engagement. I think it's imperative. I think it's a huge decision," said Charleston County School Board Member Michael Miller.

It's a decision that some people feel they are not a part of. In March, the Charleston County School District asked the community to get online and weigh in on what characteristics the new superintendent should have. For some NAACP members, that survey didn't mean a whole lot.

"They sent it out, but they already selected who they were going to interview before the survey went out. So, I wonder what the survey is all about," said Dot Scott, President of the NAACP Charleston Chapter.

At Thursday night's monthly NAACP meeting, people voiced their frustration to board members about the district's consideration of three candidates and that they haven't expanded their search nationwide.

The school board says the current candidates came upon recommendation from the South Carolina Boards

Two of them, Acting Superintendent Michael Bobby, and Deputy Superintendent of Academics Lisa Herring, are internal candidates. Horry County's former Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait is also being considered.

"Give those folks in our district who have been stepping up and filling roles, I think a professional courtesy is good to do that," said Miller.

"This is a school district that needs the very best we can get. It may very well be one of the candidates we have now, but when you don't look any further than two counties away, you have not done a search," said Darby.

"Our goal is to find somebody who can move this district forward," said Miller.

The NAACP also voiced concerns about an alleged racial slur that a student at the School of the Arts sent last month over social media. School Board members say they've taken the appropriate action and the student has been suspended. They say they followed state and federal policy when handling the issue.

The district plans on starting interviews in April, and to have a new leader selected by July 1st.

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