Emotions have run high and reaction has been mixed after the Bryan County school board’s 4-3 decision last week to buy out Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer’s contract.
Here is a sampling of some reaction:
Frances Meeks, former BoE Vice Chairman:
"This was one of the most cowardly acts I’ve ever heard of in my life. For four men to do this to a woman who has dedicated her mind, body and soul to these schools is despicable.
She was the architect of the Bryan County school system and she gave her entire life to it. It’s so sad that the less than 10 percent of the registered voters who went to the polls this last election took the first step in destroying Bryan County schools. The 84 percent that are happy with the system failed to show up at the polls, and I guess they got what they deserved. I’m absolutely furious. They (Warren, Morton, Seger and Johnson) did everything they could to destroy this woman."
Laura Gray, president of the Bryan County Parents Action Coalition:"It’s a positive move, but I’m very sorry that it came down to this. I wish we could’ve found a way for the partnership between Dr. Brewer, parents and teachers to work. When part of that partnership wouldn’t work, that’s when the board had to come in and take a drastic step. It just seemed like opinions and viewpoints besides her own fell on deaf ears with Dr. Brewer. So many of us were just dismissed, with no consideration for our ideas or opinions. We are the voters. We put her supervisors in office. It took some time, but we went through the chain of command, which she was so big on, and voted in the board members to represent us. Just remember that Jeff Morton, Charlie Johnson and Dennis Seger were elected last summer by a majority of the voters. And that majority wanted a change in our school administration. They delivered on their campaign promise and, when the dust settles, that is what voters will remember. Instead of having a superintendent telling us why we can’t do something, I hope we can now look for someone that is more willing to try to find a way to do the things that this community would like to see happen."
Jimmy Burnsed, Bryan County Commission Chairman:
"I think we do have a good school system, and, regardless if you agree or disagree with the decision made by the board of education, we all need to pull together and move forward with continued efforts toward maintaining the high quality our school system."
Richard Ferreira, BCMS PTSO President:
"This makes no financial sense whatsoever. Unless President Obama shows up with a check, I think this is quite possibly the worst time they could ever even consider a buy out of the superintendent. I mean the board is looking at cut backs and they go and do this. I’m highly upset with Dennis Seger because he lied to me. He told me before the meeting that he would allow me to talk and then he voted against allowing folks to comment. Also, if you read Jeff Morton’s bio, he goes on to say he would listen to parents and the community if elected. Evidently he doesn’t believe that anymore because he also voted against public comment at the meeting. They’re all saying we voted to fire Brewer by voting for them – well, I don’t recall seeing a referendum on Sallie Brewer on ballot. If so, I missed it".
Dave Williams, Bryan County NAACP Chairman/former Bryan County school system employee:
"I really do think it’s time for a change. This paves the way for a lot of opportunity we didn’t have before, and I’m very happy with the decision made by the new school board members. I realize she’s been there quite some time and has done some good things, but I believe this is an opportunity for us to look at the system, see where we are lacking and make some radical changes. One change I’d like to see is exploring the possibility of getting more black teachers and administration, especially in North Bryan. Another issue is hopefully we can gain accessibility for Gateway to reach students in need of mental health services. Free services have been offered, but Gateway has been told no -- as have so many agencies in so many different cases because of Dr. Brewer’s decision making."
Have a different opinion? Feel free to weigh in with either a letter to the editor or by blogging at bryancountynews.net.