Newport School Board Votes to Suspend Superintendent

April 5, 2004 -- Posted 6:30 p.m. CST

Newport, AR -- The Newport School Board votes for a suspension.

This morning Newport School Board members called a second special meeting, since last week's alleged altercation between Superintendent Floyd Marshall, his son Ryan and a local member of the media.

On Thursday it was announced that Ryan Marshall had been suspended with pay, and today the same decision was made for his father.

"The Superintendent has been suspended until this matter is taken care of," said School Board President Linda Miller.

That announcement about the future of Superintendent Floyd Marshall comes with some concern for community members, because the Board chose to suspend Marshall with pay; a yearly salary K-8 News has found is $100,000.

"If he's suspended then that's just giving him a chance to go home, sit in his recliner, relax back, and think that he's got it made," said concerned parent Vickie Bethel.

"I'm not concerned if it's with or without pay, that's irrelevant to me, but the thing that I think that the community will wonder is how long this whole thing is going to take," said Jeff Sanders.

And that's an answer the school board is not offering at this time, saying their attorney has advised them not to speak.

"I'm showing support just for the position of a superintendent, " said Nora Smith.

Smith says she's willing to voice her opinion. She says there are two sides to this story, and that the previous superintendents were just as criticized.

"All three of them would have been burned at the stake, and this one is no different," said Smith.

There have been some questions about Floyd Marshall's previous work history. K-8 News has learned that he worked in the Beebe school district from 1976 to 1995. Officials there say he did not resign however, school board members chose not to renew his contract.

"If something is not done with Marshall then I will pull my kids out if the school district," said Bethel.

"I don't support any physical violence or anything like that in the school, but then again I don't support this one-sided demonization of the superintendent," said Smith.

During today's meeting the board also voted to appoint Assistant Superintendent Nathan Barber as the Acting Superintendent. They announced that they have asked Barber to bring them up to date on the legal avenues on a classified employee pertaining to suspension.

But when asked to clarify what that means, they wouldn't even let us ask the question

K-8 News has learned that the Police Department has turned over incident reports against the Marshall's to the Prosecuting Attorney's office. That office has not yet indicated if further action will be taken.