School policy is senseless

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 18, 2008

The issue: The Selma City School Board isn&8217;t talking about its policies.

Our position: Cloaking policies in the words &8220;personnel issues&8221; is not good form.

From the trying to figure it out department: What is going on with the coaching situation at Selma High School?

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After a recent Selma City School Board meeting, our sports writer learned of a massive overhaul in the Selma High School athletic department.

What we knew the day before: The Selma City School board went into closed session to discuss personnel issues. The school board members came out and voted on a list of unnamed individuals as far as supplements went.

The next day, the fallout began.

Apparently, school board members were under the impression the district had to post all jobs with the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

As a result of the posting, the coaches became a little nervous. That&8217;s understandable. What if you found out your job was posted on a state job board?

We asked about the posting of the jobs, and interim superintendent Verdell Lett-Dawson said this was an AHSAA recommendation.

So we called other schools in the area to find out if they post jobs every year, instead of renewing contracts in house. The officials at those schools said they knew of no such regulation.

Then we called the AHSAA to double check. The officials there said they didn&8217;t know what we were talking about.

So we went back to Dawson to ask her again. This time, she declined to talk to us about it and would speak only through Crystal Boykin, the public relations person for Selma City Schools.

We called school board members, who didn&8217;t return our calls or declined to comment, saying these are personnel issues.

Hold on a minute.

What the public has a right to know is policy. Selma City Schools has changed its policy of handling contracts by posting them publicly at the AHSAA.

Why is Selma City Schools posting the jobs? What did Dawson mean by it&8217;s a state requirement when AHSAA officials say it&8217;s not? What is going on in the back rooms behind the cloak of legal executive sessions to put us in this situation?

The so-called street committee has talked out this one and made some interesting links.

We don&8217;t believe that the assumptions of the street committee are true, but we can&8217;t say otherwise because we don&8217;t know exactly what Dawson and the school board are doing.

At some point, someone will have to step forward and clue in the public as to what is happening in the school system with the posting or non-posting of contracts.

It&8217;s not so much the personnel issues; we&8217;ll record the comings and goings of individuals.

But when something is hidden or seems to be hidden behind policy, well, that&8217;s a different matter.