Interim superintendent contract for Dallas County Schools approved, Sampson still on leave

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated the wrong person making the motion to reinstate Superintendent Sampson. Melvin Flanagan-Brown actually made the motion. The story has been corrected below. The Selma Times-Journal regrets the error and is happy to set the record straight.

The Dallas County Board of Education has approved the contract for interim School Superintendent Bridgette Carter.

Details were not immediately available of her contract, but she will serve until either Superintendent Anthony Sampson is reinstated as superintendent or another superintendent is appointed.

Email newsletter signup

Following a 90-minute executive character for “good name and character,” the contract was approved by a 4-1 vote with William Minor voting no.

Flanagan-Brown’s motion

During the discussion of the special called meeting Tuesday night, board member Melvin Flanagan-Brown attempted to introduce a motion to allow Sampson to return to work immediately or if he was unable to return then appoint Samantha England as interim superintendent.

Board President Leroy Miles Jr., affirmed by board attorney Malika Fortier, said that because it was a special called meeting that they could not entertain an amendment to the agenda.

“It’s controversial whether you can amend it at a special board meeting or not,” Fortier said.

“If that’s what you want to do, hey, bring it to the next board meeting. We’ll act on it,” Miles said.

Flanagan-Brown and board member William Minor said they were under the impression that Sampson’s suspension was for only two weeks. However, the motion passed April 25 as recorded in the minutes approved Tuesday night did not have a timeline for Sampson’s reinstatement.

Flanagan-Brown believed that the investigation was over, as a special investigator, whose name has not been released, has met with numerous employees during the investigation. And the investigation evidently expanded to other school sites than the original investigation.

“From my understanding, she interviewed 25 people,” Flanagan-Brown said. “Those people were not even on the list (the board gave the investigator). She just went from person to person, and everybody was sending her someplace else.”

Miles said he wasn’t aware that she was interviewing random people. He said they people were either on the list the investigator was provided, or she decided to conduct additional interviews based on the information she received during those interviews.

Future timeline

Miles recommends allowing the investigator to continue to gather information and bring it back to the school board at a later date. However, there was no timeframe determined when any action would be taken on Sampson’s future. Miles said he feels the investigation needs to be completed while Sampson is still on leave.

“We voted for an investigation,” Miles said. “My suggestion is to let the investigation run its course… You can’t say where (the suspension) ends because if the findings deem termination, you go with the findings.”

Minor said he would like to see the board make a decision by May 15 because he wants to see some kind of resolution occur in a timely manner. Because they could not amend the agenda to entertain Flanagan-Brown’s motion, Minor suggested having a called meeting to discuss whether they would reinstate Sampson instead of waiting until the next regular board meeting on May 23.

Miles and the other board members agreed that would be acceptable to have a called meeting, but no firm date was announced.

Other action

In other business, the board:

  • Granted approval for Dallas County High students to attend math, science and technology day at Six Flags over Georgia.
  • Approved spending Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to install sensory playground equipment at Brantley and Valley Grande elementaries due to the high student population of special education and students with disabilities. Minor also asked that Carter look into putting money toward playground equipment upgrades at other campuses.
  • Began a 30-day review period on the district’s safe schools handbook with regard to cell phones and vaping.
  • Approved a contract for services to allow a former special education teacher to review and write Individualized Education Programs for special education students.
  • Upgraded its accounting software to allow employees to submit receipts for trips in a more efficient manner.
  • Renewed three principal/administrator contracts using the updated salary schedule.

The next board meeting will be May 9 for a board training at 5:30 p.m.