Public erupts at EBR school board meeting

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Posted: Feb 8, 2012 10:11 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
Updated: Feb 8, 2012 10:11 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: school board, superintendent, public, interim, finalist

BATON ROUGE- The audience at the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting Wednesday night blamed the board for putting politics and petty fighting before good decisions for children.

At one point, people chanted to recall the board, and a Sheriff's deputy had to step in to maintain control.

The crowd's opinion was clear at the very start of the meeting when School Board President Barbara Freiberg announced lone finalist for the superintendent job, Samuel King, had withdrawn from consideration. People cheered with the announcement. His email didn't state a reason for not wanting to replace John Dilworth, who is now leaving the district at the end of the month.

The outrage started when the board bickered over the cost of starting the search over, and then got caught up in an argument while trying to choose an interim superintendent. The majority of the audience wanted current district Chief Administrative Officer Herman Brister for the temporary appointment.

The meeting ended with many members visibly upset, and one screaming at another. The crowd joined in the yelling calling for the board to be recalled as they exited the building.

A decision on the interim was deferred until next week's meeting, but there is confusion as to whether that vote can actually be taken next week. The search for a new superintendent will now have to start over.

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