Nashville Mayor David Briley says he plans to effectively seize control of the school board and lambasted board members who are trying to remove embattled Superintendent Dr. Shawn Joseph, Fox 17 said.
Briley then turned his ire to the Metro Nashville School Board, saying he “will use all my legal authority to influence the school board functions from this day forward.”
Dr. Joseph has previously stated he will not seek to extend his contract when it expires in 2020. Mayor Briley said he plans to be involved in the search for a new director as well as how the school board handles operations and finances.
According to NewsChannel 5, Briley called school board members racist but tried to deny it.
“Some of our school board members have not acknowledged why their actions are seen through a racial lens. They’ve failed to acknowledge the legacy of racism and the legacy of systemic racism in Nashville, the legacy of inequality that this city is still trying to overcome today,” he said.
Briley went on to say that he’s not calling anyone “a racist” and added he knows most people in leadership have “good intentions” and “good hearts.”
Metro Nashville Schools have been embroiled in controversy recently.
School board member Will Pinkston this past week announced his resignation over Twitter in response and he called the board “impossibly inept,” The Tennessee Star reported.
Pinkston has stated that the board does not have money to give teachers raises despite efforts to do so. He also defended Joseph and labeled his detractors as racist.
Board member Anna Shepherd has asked for a vote at the April 9 meeting to terminate Joseph’s contract, The Star said.
The Star recently cited a story that Joseph was responsible for a software company receiving a no-bid $1.8 million contract. Joseph had previous dealings with the company, the story said. That story is available here.
The Star also reported on the chaos caused by Joseph’s work to reduce the number of students who receive suspensions.
Teachers who appeared in a televised town hall discussion in February with Phil Williams of NewsChannel 5 spoke of out-of-control students and an administration that is hostile to their concerns.
WKRN reported that school resource officers were scared for their families after students threatened them, and they plan to pull out of alternative schools Bass Learning Center and Johnson Alternative Center.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “David Briley” by David Briley. Photo “Shawn Joseph” by Tennessee State University. Background Photo “Metro Nashville School Board by Metro Nashville Public Schools.