School board silent in face of accusations

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

“We’ve noticed that (school board member Debbie Kolmetz) is willing to stand up for our students and issues of concern in our district,” said Smith. “The District has entrusted each of you school board members to act and honestly take care of issues of concern for our students, and I do not understand why this isn’t being done. For example, the motion has been made three times now by Mrs. Kolmetz in recent school board meetings to make the audio recordings as part of the public record online for all citizens to have access to and it hasn’t even received a second.”

Next to speak was Holly Jones of Bonifay, who expressed concern that teachers were being threatened with termination of employment, demotion and refused rehiring if they were found to have opposing views to the current school board.

Jones requested the board strengthen policies to protect personnel from any retaliation for stating their thoughts and opinions.

Another issue she said she had with the board is in regards to Edgenuity, the virtual program for virtual classes taught in Holmes County schools, questioning Dixon’s affiliation with the company in the past.

Christine LiCausi of Bonifay also spoke, alleging the principal of Bethlehem High School, Stacey Thompson, isn't qualified for his position. She also alleged "everyone is aware" Brent Jones is being hired as Thompson's successor "before he was hired" and that "job postings put up during the holidays so that no one could see them."

The Holmes County School Board has neither confirmed nor denied Jones' hiring.

LiCausi went on to voice her concern about teacher qualifications, stating Holmes County has been lax in their enforcement of qualification requirements and practices nepotism.

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