BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board had a meeting Thursday night (Oct. 15), but it appears not much was decided upon.
This comes after the sudden departure of new superintendent, Leslie Brown, who stepped down recently for health reasons after just a couple of months on the job.
At the meeting, the school board discussed how it will conduct the search process for Brown’s replacement. Previously, the board selected a consulting firm to undergo a year-long selection process.
The board also selected Associate Superintendent Adam Smith to act as interim superintendent until a replacement can be found.
At the meeting, there was a resolution to bring back four of the finalists for reconsideration, however, that resolution failed.
“However, there are some board members that felt as though they didn’t want to go through with that. They wanted to go through with an entirely new search,” said Darius Lanus, school board member.
Things are back to square one now, with no clear answer about how the board will proceed to select the next superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS).
A number of parents spoke out at the meeting too, expressing their frustration with the process.
“This is a hot mess in this school district. I think we really need to look within so we can find the leadership that will take us where we need to go,” said one mother.
Many parents and community members simply wanted to see Smith given the job full-time.
“Every time I’ve had a concern, I have been able to call Mr. Smith. Every single time, he has heard the voices of educators and parents alike. He has been faithful to this district,” one parent said.
However, a majority of board members voted to restart the search process. All previous candidates will have to reapply.
“The idea of having to go through additional interviews, to go through conversations with the community, the people who work for the district, that’s too much. It’s already October. We have two breaks ahead of us right now for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and so time is of the essence,” said Angela Reams-Brown with the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers and Support Workers.
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