School board attempts, fails to reinstate fired employee
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Former Charleston County School District’s chief of staff will not be getting reinstated after a school board vote Monday.
The CCSD Board of Trustees voted against a motion to reinstate Erica Taylor after an hours-long discussion behind closed doors during a special called meeting Monday afternoon. Taylor’s position was eliminated and she was terminated last week in a surprise move. The vote was 4-5. Eric Mack, Courtney Waters, Erica Cokley and Joyce Green all voted to reinstate Taylor. Cindy Bohn Coats, Kate Darby, Helen Frazier, Kristen French, and Lauren Herterich all voted no.
Earlier in the day, the Racial Justice Network sent a letter to Superintendent Don Kennedy demanding an explanation, saying in part that Taylor is one of the few Black women at the top of the organization. They also alleged the district has created positions for white candidates and could have done the same for Taylor.
“It’s factual that CCSD has created positions for white staff members who weren’t essential,” Elder James Johnson writes. “Why not consider creating one for Dr. Taylor? Dr. Postlewait was terminated and allowed to stay on with pay until she signed on elsewhere.”
Frazier, the only black school board member to vote against reinstating Taylor, says her termination has nothing to do with race.
“How can you make this about race when the superintendent is black? I didn’t hear anyone making a big deal when he fired Karolyn Belcher,” Frazier said, referencing the district’s former chief academic officer.
It’s still unclear if Belcher technically resigned or was fired. Frazier says at the end of the day they put Kennedy in charge of leading the district and the board needs to support him.
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