Terry Dill listens as Monroe County School District attorney Jim Keith responds to his request on behalf of a parents advocacy group to have District 1 board member Butch Palmer removed. Keith denied the request, saying that the board did not have that authority.

AMORY – During Nov. 9’s Monroe County School Board meeting, board members heard updates on enrollment and kindergarten assessments, along with a request for one school board member to be removed.

Terry Dill addressed board members on behalf of the parents advocacy group, FED UP. The group requested to have District 1 school board member Butch Palmer dismissed per their allegations of harassment and intimidation on his part directed at Dill’s daughter, Leah Doyle. She spoke on a number of topics such as district policy in response to COVID-19 during September’s school board meeting.

Board attorney Jim Keith of Jackson deftly dismissed the group’s request for Palmer’s firing, saying that since the board members were publicly elected, they could only be removed by action taken by the district attorney or state attorney general’s office.

“The board does not have the authority to remove a member. Boards cannot self-govern their members,” he said.

In other business, Monroe County School District Superintendent Brian Jernigan was pleased to report good numbers in terms of enrollment and kindergarten assessments.

“Enrollment is at 2,137 students, up slightly from 2,104 a year ago,” he said.

While both Hamilton and Hatley reported increases in enrollment, Smithville’s number decreased by five students.

“Overall, our numbers are higher than they were last year. Several students that were home schooling have come back, as well as those who are moving. There is a lot of transition right now for some reason – a lot more than I remember from just four or five years ago.”

Jernigan also reported a significant increase in assessment data for kindergartens.

“In August, only 49 percent of the 176 students were academically ready. After two months of instruction, that figure moved to 72 percent ready. I expect that by Christmas we’re going to be hitting 90 percent,” he said.

Jernigan noted next semester will offer even more time for kindergartners to develop skills to be academically ready.

“It’s looking a lot better, but we’re pressing for attendance,” he said.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus