Three CCSD board members walk out of meeting, opposing recent decisions made

VIDEO: Three CCSD board members walk out of meeting, opposing recent decisions made

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The last Charleston County school board meeting of the 2016-2017 school year didn't begin in the typical manner.
At the start of the meeting Monday evening, the three black school board members walked out, boycotting the meeting, and held a press conference outside.

Right after the pledge of the allegiance, board members Rev. Chris Collins, Michael Miller and Dr. Rev. Eric Mack stood-up together to address the remaining board members.

Rev. Collins spoke on their behalf.

"Because Lincoln Middle-High School is not on tonight's agenda, among other issues that affect minorities, we will not be attending tonight's board meeting," Rev. Collins said. "Good evening and goodnight."

The three board members then walked out of the meeting, followed by a crowd.

Board member Michael Miller began the press conference saying the vote to close Lincoln Middle-High school was the tip of the iceberg for them.

"The district has seemingly created a culture that unfairly targets African American schools whenever we have budgetary problem," Miller said.

"We need to be more aggressive in making sure our district looks more like our population in which we serve," Dr. Rev. Eric Mack said.

The three board members called to keep Lincoln Middle-High School open, they pushed for more diversity in schools and addressed concerns with specific board members.

"Lincoln is supposed to be shut down by these six board members who don't seem to care about these children," Rev. Collins said.

The board members were backed by leaders of the NAACP and Nation Action Network (NAN).

"Situations like this make you want to cuss," Rev. Joe Darby said. Since preachers ain't supposed to do that, I wrote down my remarks...Enough is enough."

Strong statements were made at the press conference, supported Lincoln middle-high school students and alumni.

"I'm a graduate of Lincoln High School and I taught at Lincoln High School," Carolyn Thompson Andrews said.

Andrews feels the school's been neglected for years.

"They need to wake up, it's 2016," Andrews said.

Other demands were made at the press conference.

"Cindy Coats needs to go," Dot Scott said, with the Charleston chapter of the NAACP.

"We do need a new board chair person also," Rev. Collins said.

Inside, the meeting did go on.
Chair Cindy Coats said the request for her to leave hurts.

"I'm not here to make the adults happy, I'm here to make sure our children are the future leaders of our community, Coats said. "That's what I focus on, supporting people moving forward even when the votes don't go my way."

No decisions were made by the board addressing the concerns, but the crowd said they'll keep fighting.

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