Baker citizens look to oust school board members

Baker residents look to oust school board members
Source: Cheryl Mercedes/WAFB
Source: Cheryl Mercedes/WAFB

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - A new movement in Baker aims to expel three school board members.

Some big name Baker supporters blame board members, Dana Carpenter, Elaine Davis, and Shona Boxie-Williams for the schools low performance scores.

Community activist and livelong resident, Reverend William King, said he is fed up with what he calls the corruption of the Baker School System.

"It is out of control in the City of Baker," King said.

The state gave Baker Schools a "D" on its last report card. While it is an improvement from the previous year, King said it is not enough.

"They are saying it's a D. A D is an F," King said.

King said board members, Carpenter, Davis, and Boxie-Williams are responsible for that score.

"It's time for us to hold up and hold our leaders accountable," King said.

King called a meeting on Friday morning to launch a recall effort against the three board members. He said they are ignoring the issues plaguing the school district, specifically the lack of enough certified teachers and bullying.

"These three board members do not want to be bothered. They don't come in the community and they don't return phone calls, and I have a serious problem with that," King said.

King and some parents then took their petitions to recall the board members to the streets.

Those who signed it said getting rid of Carpenter, Davis, and Boxie-Williams would give Baker Schools a fresh start.

"I just can't understand why we still have very poor educational conditions, and they've been board members for so long," Jerrie Williams said.

"What we have is an ongoing cycle of people going back and forth, and they really aren't doing anything," Kenneth Spearman said.

The board members, who were re-elected on November 4, insist most of the schools in their district are improving and that they are invested in the students' educations.

"Citizens have a right to petition. This is America. Regardless of what happens, I am going to continue to work for my district and for the whole school system," Carpenter said.

"The voters spoke. They sent us back to do a job, which is to help the school district and students improve, and I think whoever is behind the recall petition needs to work with the board instead of against the board to improve our schools," Davis said.

King said he has heard it before, and this time he is not buying it.

"Everybody is in denial. Everybody is in denial, and I have a problem with that," King said.

Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said he is "shocked and surprised" by the recall effort. He did not want to comment further.

Board member, Boxie-Williams, did not return calls for comment.

The petitioners have 60 days to get 100 signatures for each board member.

Copyright WAFB 2015. All Rights Reserved.