Minority leader positions at risk on the Berkeley Co. School Board
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School Board could face difficulty with representation, re-election and diversity for this upcoming election season.
That is according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Goose Creek branch.
A new law passed back in May called S910 will force two of the school board’s minority leaders to run against each other due to redistricting.
School board members, educators, pastors and members of the Berkeley County community raise concerns at the Goose Creek NAACP emergency meeting about how this will affect Berkeley County School Board elections.
Reverend Nelson B. Rivers III, the pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church, says he wants to stay away from the political aspect and focus on doing what is right for the educators and students.
“We have to speak truth to power,” Rivers said. “Without worrying about whether it’s political. This is not politics. It has a political outcome, but this is not politics.”
David Barrow, the board chair for Berkeley County School District, says the board did not work closely with the lawmakers who passed this bill. He says the majority of the board does not support the changes.
“The current chair rejects this,” Barrow said. “Never have supported this because it’s wrong, and it’s not fair to the other members, and it’s against our policy.”
Barrow also says under the new law, leaders in odd-numbered districts elected in 2020 will have to run again this November and again in 2024. Those in even-numbered districts will keep their original four-year term without re-election.
Sharina Haynes, president of the NAACP Goose Creek branch, says they want the community to stay informed.
“I just want to encourage the community to know about the bills that are coming in through our Senate and House,” Haynes said. “Making sure that we have a voice and making sure that we are holding our elected officials accountable.”
She also wants people to realize how important this state law is when voting this year.
“You know, everyone focuses on the federal level, but state laws and state elections, those are the things that have so much impact on our communities, and it’s so important for us to keep engaged even in the midst of a pandemic,” Haynes said.
The Goose Creek NAACP branch says they fully support the BCSD school board’s stance on this issue. They also say they encourage everyone to attend the BCSD board meeting on July 26 to get involved and stay informed.
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