By GALEN HOLLEY
The Grenada County School Board handled some routine business Tuesday and heard from an administrator who claimed to be the victim of racial bias.
Toward the end of the meeting Dr. Wanda Merritt, director of school improvement and Title One parent coordinator for the district, voiced her disappointment at being passed over for a principal’s job in 2008 and about not receiving pay equal to that of her white colleagues.
In a presentation that lasted about five minutes, Dr. Wanda Merritt told the board she felt she’d been unfairly passed over in favor of a white man for the principal’s job at Grenada Middle School in 2008.
Merritt began her career with the Grenada School District in 2004 after teaching in Greenwood. She earned a PhD in educational leadership in 2011.
Speaking firmly but without anger, Merritt said Tuesday that her white colleagues in the school district, who held qualifications equal to hers, received pay raises commensurate with their degrees and she did not.
Merritt urged Grenada citizens to avail themselves of all public information pertaining to the school district and its business.
Before Merritt spoke, the board approved several new measures.
Items of new business included accepting resignations as well as confirming recommendations for new hires from Grenada County Superintendent Dr. David Daigneault. The board confirmed new faculty for the 2012-13 school year at the Tie Plant Alternative School, Grenada Elementary School and Upper Elementary School, as well as a new SPED teacher. District two board member David Braswell made a motion to approve the resignations and new hires. District one board member Tim LeClair seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
The board also approved a change to the discipline policy in the GHS Student Handbook. According to Tim Wilder, director of students for the Grenada School District, the changes apply only to Level One offenses.
The school ranks offenses on a scale of one through five, with five being the most severe. Level One offenses include minor disruptions, such as being tardy, being without a hall pass or acting up on the bus.
According to Wilder, the handbook changes were designed to keep offenders in the classroom, to make better use of counselors and other resources and to get away from in-school suspension and other forms of discipline that remove the student from the classroom.
District Five board member, Keith Watson, made a motion to accept the handbook changes, seconded by Braswell. The vote was unanimous.
The board unanimously approved to accept the low bid of $68, 591, from Double “S” Inc., to do roadwork on Charger Drive / Highway 51.
For the full story, see the printed edition of the GrenadaStar.