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Selma City School Board members react to take over vote

The state board’s unanimous vote to intervene in Selma City Schools has evoked a response from a couple of Selma City School board members.

Following Wednesday’s vote by the Alabama State Board of Education to take over the Selma City School System, local school leaders started reacting to their new level of responsibility.

“What we are bound to do now as a board and as a system is to work together with the state to fix whatever the problems that they found that we think we need to fix,” Selma City School Board president Henry Hicks Sr. said. “I’m glad we are finally to a stage where can get something done for our system, so we can move forward.”

Selma City School Board member Dr. Udo Ufomadu said he too is in favor of the state board’s decision to intervene in Selma City Schools.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be bad,” Ufomadu said. “Those people have more associates and more perspectives to help us.”

Ufomandu said the state board’s help is needed if the Selma City School System is going to ever get better.

“At this point, I know that we definitely need it,” Ufomadu said. “I don’t think as a board that we handled this the way it should have been handled.”

The resolution referencing the state board intervention, introduced in January and approved Wednesday, cited the late submission of a corrective action plan as one of the reasons for state takeover.

The plan was in response to a scathing state investigation of the Selma City School System that was revealed last fall, but State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice said the plan failed to include many necessary components.

The investigation lead to findings that the Selma City Schools System failed to adequately investigate allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, failed to enforce policies regarding graduation requirements regarding standardized testing procedures and has a disregard for instructional time.

Selma City Board members Brenda Randolph Obomanu, Dr. Kirit Chapatwalla and Frank Chestnut Jr. did not return multiple phone calls made during the day.