Special school board meeting for the Harrisburg School District

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"It's just a trust issue--a very big trust issue.  Our kids are scared.   You can see it in their faces, they're scared, said Weiner parent, Tisha Westerman.

"I think it's all over the 5 man board--going to the 7 man,  but I think the 5 man is fair.   We're not picking up that many kids," said Harrisburg parent, Cheryl Jackson.

Tensions ran high Monday evening at a special school board meeting at the Harrisburg School District.

"In the beginning, we knew we would have four members on the interim board, so one would be left out," said Superintendent, Danny Sample.

The four members from Harrisburg who will make up that 5 person interim school board for the consolidated Harrisburg and Weiner School Districts were voted in place at a specially called school board meeting last week.  The member not voted onto the interim board is Byron Neal.

"Losing is bad, quitting is worse--so I don't think I'm done," said Neal.

Neal says he would like a 7 member board--5 from Harrisburg and 2 from Weiner.  At a special school board meeting Monday night--events from last week's meeting, and those decisions made about who would serve on the interim board, were discussed.

"I think it was a good honest conversation.   Honest conversations aren't always easy.   Sometimes they get a little mean, a little ugly," said Neal.

Neal says while he was notified about last week's meeting, he and another board member weren't able to attend.  School board president Frankie Lindsey, said he notified the members 5 hours prior to the specially called meeting.  The 3 board members who were at the meeting voted the interim board into place.

"A motion was made.   The motion was to carry the four with the most experienced," said Lindsey.

Lindsey said experience was necessary because of the daunting task ahead for both schools. Harrisburg Superintendent Danny Sample says they had 30 days to decide on an interim board.

"The quicker we can set this interim board, the quicker that interim board can start making plans for the transition process between Weiner and Harrisburg," said Sample.

As it stands now, on the five member interim board there will be 4 members from Harrisburg, 1 from Weiner.  Byron Neal says he's unsure what is next for him.

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