State Supreme Court sides with Harrisburg board member

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Supreme Court sided Thursday with Harrisburg School Board member Byron Neal in his suit against the district.

The Harrisburg School District appealed to the higher court after a circuit court sided with Neal in December, 2010. Neal sued the district for the way it removed him from the board to make way for a member from the newly annexed Weiner School District. The new board was to consist of four Harrisburg representatives and one Weiner representative.

The school board met on March 9, 2010 and simply chose to select which members will serve on the new board. Neal was not present at the meeting and was the one member not chosen to serve on the new, interim board. Neal filed a court complaint saying the selection violated state law.

In December, 2010 Judge John Fogleman sided with Neal and ordered the board to select members from lots. The original five members drew straws at the next school board meeting. Board member Barry Massengill drew the short straw and is not serving on the interim school board.

All members of the current interim board will serve until the next school board election when voters will decide the representatives. It will keep the same make up of four Harrisburg and one Weiner representatives.

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