Hopeful for a step in the right direction

Published 9:11 am Saturday, May 14, 2016

A few weeks ago, we were disappointed, however not entirely surprised, to find out that the leader of Southampton County Public Schools made a problematic decision regarding an incident that happened with one of the students. The decision that was made was not only against policy, but frankly showed more than just an error in judgment.

The recent event we are referring to is the child who was left on the school bus after the other children were dropped off one morning. Although we find it alarming that the bus driver did not search the bus more carefully, the parents told the sheriff’s office that they didn’t want the driver to be charged and the Commonwealth’s Attorney suggested the same thing.

However, we feel the real issue here is that the parents were not notified until the afternoon of what had occurred, and the school board wasn’t informed for two days, at which time, Superintendent Dr. Alvera Parrish said things were “being taken care of.”

Even worse, social services was not notified of the incident until over two weeks after it happened, despite the fact that the policy states that when things of this nature occur, they are supposed to be informed within 24 hours.

And, things get even worse.

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office had to be notified by social services; the school system – Parrish – didn’t even tell them.

In our opinion, this is completely unacceptable and the qualities that are shown in the current leadership of the schools are ones we are hoping to get away from.

This week we learned that the school board has interviewed six people for the superintendent position, as Parrish will be retiring at the end of June.

Many of us are wondering who is going to take her place and what this person will be like. Is it going to be someone that follows the rules and has the ability to change things for the better? Somebody that has the leadership skills we need?

Well, that is what we are hoping.

We are also hopeful that the school board has listened to the wants and needs of the parents, and they are spending extra time looking into the people they are interviewing — considering all angles of this person, who they are, what they stand for and deciding whether or not they have what it takes to lead the schools in the right direction.