CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District superintendent’s contract was up for discussion during a specially called meeting less than three months into his employment.
After a lengthy executive session on Dr. Eric Gallien’s contract, the board adjourned the meeting on Monday with no action taken, leaving attendees confused and frustrated.
The meeting was packed with people who came to show their support for Dr. Gallien, including members of the National Action Network. The group held a news conference outside of CCSD headquarters earlier in the day, questioning the motives behind the meeting.
“We stand today to call on certain members of the Charleston County School Board of Trustees to stop their racial attacks, I said racial attacks, on newly appointed, African American Superintendent Dr. Eric Gallien. We got word over the weekend that there is a plan afoot, today, to fire Dr. Gallien who has not been here 90 days as yet,” said Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III.
Four board members, Courtney Waters, Darlene Dunmeyer-Roberson, Daron Lee Calhoun II and Dr. Carol Tempel, released a statement over the weekend, claiming the other members of the board coordinated the special called meeting without them. They were hesitant to enter executive session about the contract.
“You know, I’m afraid its gotten away from us in this moment because it wasn’t posted to begin with, but we’re adopting an agenda, some of us are voting and we have no clue what it is we’re walking into,” Waters said.
The other board members, not included in the four, claimed they also didn’t know what the meeting was about.
“If I had enough common sense to go back and call somebody and find out what was going on, each and every one of us up here had that same opportunity,” said Carlotte Bailey.
Prior to the special meeting, a superintendent’s report was given during the Committee of the Whole meeting, highlighting improvement in student performance. After the presentation, Dr. Gallien seemed to respond to the upcoming agenda item discussing his contract.
“We need to continue to invest in our teachers to give them the professional development and the tools that they need to do their jobs and quite honestly, you need to let me do my job,” Dr. Gallien said, followed by cheers from meeting attendees.
Dr. Gallien’s first day on the job was July 1.
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Author: Jordan Cioppa