A Muscle Shoals' parent seeks change with the school board

Parents in Muscle Shoals want city council members to hold board of education members accountable.

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 8:59 PM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 10:13 PM

Monday night, parents addressed the Muscle Shoals City Council. They asked them to step in, and fix problems they claim, are happening within the Muscle Shoals City School System.

The city council appoints board of education members in Muscle Shoals, and have done that since the school system was formed.

"This city council appoints them and then steps away," said Muscle Shoals parent, Amanda Hollander.

Hollander took to the podium during Monday night's city council meeting. She expressed her concerns with the Muscle Shoals Board of Education and how they handled an investigation into former McBride Elementary school teacher, Blake Jarmon.

"It was frustrating the day I went and spoke with the principal and he would give me no information. It was frustrating when no one from administration reached out to me, my husband, or any of the parents involved," said Hollander.

Hollander tells us her son was one of dozens interviewed by the principal at McBride Elementary School concerning Jarmon's behavior. The board of education voted to terminate Jarmon after an internal investigation. Hollander said, parents were left in the dark over the whole situation.

"A lot of people see the need for change. This whole situation has really shed light on how these boards work and how no one is held accountable," said Hollander.

Hollander and other parents claim the board of education violated Alabama's Open Meetings Law, because they claim Board of Education members discussed how to handle the Jarmon investigation outside of a meeting.

"They made decisions based solely on Dr. Willingham's inappropriate and vague questioning that was then relayed to Dr. Lindsey. They then took those facts and discussed them outside of executive session," said Hollander. "We ask you gentlemen to step in and hold your appointees accountable. When a school board and administration that you appointed breaks the law."

Muscle Shoals Mayor, David Bradford, told WAAY 31, there isn't much they can do because the board of education is their own entity.

"If they feel like the board violated some type of ethics law they would be to file that," said Bradford. "This council is not prepared to hear anything like that unless we have to remove someone for a particular reason."

WAAY 31 has filed an open records request with the Muscle Shoals City School Board about the investigation into Blake Jarmon, but we have no recieved those documents yet. WAAY 31 was told by the superintendent that their attorney's were handling the request.

Muscle Shoals Superintendent, Dr. Brian Lindsey, told WAAY 31 they deny accusations that they violated Alabama's Open Meeting Law.

Parents tell us they will not give up on this until they see change.

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