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School Board Files Emergency Motion to Stop Possible Suspension

The move was made late Friday afternoon, in hopes of stopping Gov. Deal from suspending any school board members.

Gov. Nathan Deal's office announced on Friday that he, along with members of the DeKalb legislative delegation, will hold an 11 a.m. news conference Monday to respond to the state Board of Education decision.

The state board recommended to the governor that he remove six members of the DeKalb school board.

However, in a legal move late Friday afternoon, the school board filed an emergency motion in federal court, hoping to stop the governor from taking any action. 

According to Channel 2 Action News, the emergency motion was filed just before the close of business on Friday.

“I have closely followed the situation in DeKalb County schools since their accreditation was put at risk, and I paid special attention to the state Board of Education’s deliberations on Thursday,” Deal said in a statement.

The board voted unanimously to recommend that Sarah Copelin-Wood, Donna Edler, Eugene Walker, Jay Cunningham, Nancy Jester and Pamela Speaks be removed from the DeKalb school board.

If Gov. Deal follows the board's recommendation, Jim McMahan, Marshall Orson and Melvin Johnson would remain on the board as newly elected members.

McMahan's district includes some of Tucker's schools. "We've really started working in the last two weeks, and Thurmond is a good listener," he said last night after the 14-hour hearing in front of the Georgia Board of Education. "We need to work on communication. The focus should be on the kids."

Asked about potential new board members, McMahan said, "we shall see. Looking forward to working with (them). It's a tough job ahead. The board needs to learn how to govern correctly."

Former school board candidate Jim Kinney, who lost to McMahan last year, had this to say on Friday: "Yes, the old school board needs to be out for the betterment of the schools. I think a competent DA could make a decent case for fraud and easily a case of corruption. But what is happening opens a very smelly can of worms. Once power to evacuate an election is handed to an appointed body with the understanding that a single elected person can fulfill the recommendation, that's a slippery slope of power abuse that leads to 1930's Italy. Georgia has a long history of wanting to have that level of power in the hands of a few."

See Also:

Replay Patch's Live Coverage of the State Board of Education Hearing With the DeKalb School Board

DeKalb Guy February 23, 2013 at 06:22 PM
While I agree it's past time for change, I don't agree that the governor should pick the school board replacements. We have the right to vote for and elect our own representatives. What should happen is an immediate special election so we can decide for ourselves. While I may not trust the current school board, I certainly do not trust that the governor won't fill these seats with his friends and supporters. Which is worse is a matter of opinion. All I know is unlike the governor, I live in DeKalb, and I have a right to vote on my elected officials.

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