School board silent in face of accusations


Resident Veronica Smith was present again to discuss the school board’s contribution in funds the school board agreed to contribute toward the Bethlehem High School’s Junior Beta trip to Nationals.

Cecilia Spears
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 05:21 PM.

BONIFAY – Holmes County District School remained silent as three residents gave speeches filled with accusations during the public hearing portion of the board's June 17 regularly scheduled meeting.

Opening the public hearing was Veronica Smith, who was also present at the June 3 meeting. Again, Smith addressed contradiction in funds the school board agreed to contribute toward the Bethlehem High School’s Junior Beta trip to Nationals. She

explained the board approved to contribute $250 per student who attended the trip but then reimbursing a lesser amount.

 “(The board's contribution amount) was verified and confirmed in January before it was ever announced to these students or their parents,” said Smith. “During the meeting held two weeks ago, $250 is the amount said to be given. When I spoke of the original $250 per student, the chair of the board and Rusty Williams both spoke up and nodded in verbal agreement that this is the amount to be given. Apparently, (Superintendent of Schools Eddie Dixon) was the only one aware of the change, and it was done without the approval vote of the board.”

Smith went on to ask Dixon why it was changed only three weeks prior to the trip.

“During the last meeting, you stated that only travel expenses and hotel expenses are covered for all ball teams attending State Championships,” said Smith, addressing Dixon. “The Junior Beta would gladly accept the same treatment in lieu of $250 promised per student, if that is an option. You understand that this act shows you, Mr. Dixon, on public record as being unfair, unsupportive, unreliable and dishonest to some of Holmes County’s top AB honor roll students.”

Smith said she had requested financial records on another group who went to the State Championships, but the paperwork was delayed on grounds of having “student names redacted.”

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