Parents, students deserve answers

Published 8:04 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last Thursday night, Franklin High School students and parents filled the auditorium at J.P. King Middle School hoping to find out what happened to their new band director.

They left the school board meeting without answers, but from reading between the lines, we believe Ricky Edwards was terminated. The Tidewater News also failed to get answers from the administration.

Edwards, who previous to coming here was the assistant band director for Delaware State University in Dover, began working for the school district in August. He also was hired to direct the J.P. King Middle School Band.

When Edwards came to Franklin, he was met by a 14-member high school marching band. Within a few weeks, he increased the membership to 35.

About three weeks ago, we noticed the advertisement in The Tidewater News for a new Franklin High School band director. Thought it was strange. It wasn’t until last week’s school board meeting that we learned that Edwards was no longer around.

Several parents made passionate pleas to the school board during last week’s meeting about Edwards’ return. They also wanted to know what happened to him.

One parent said Edwards moved to Franklin for the job and showed total commitment.

Another parent expressed her concern for the band program, claiming it continues to deteriorate.

Yet one more parent said the students wanted Edwards back.

School board President Bill Scarboro — a supporter of the band — told everyone Edwards won’t be returning and a replacement is being sought.

Scarboro also said the issue with the former band director is a personnel matter and people just have to accept that the school administration made the correct decision.

We understand that when dealing with personnel matters, school boards by law have the right to discuss those matters behind closed doors. They also don’t have to give explanations for personnel-related decisions.

But in this case, where it seems that so many students and parents had bonded with and appreciated their new band director, maybe they do deserve some answers.