Students walk away from the Pleasantville High School building Monday, a day before a new monitor will be introduced at a regular school board meeting.
- History of problems in Pleasantville
The Pleasantville School District has been plagued by legal and ethical problems:
School board member Doris Graves has been censured twice, in 2008 and again this summer, for ethics violations by the state School Ethics Commission. She lost her seat in last year’s election. She is running again this year.
Superintendent Andrew Carrington resigned early in 2002, agreeing to a $125,000 contract buyout after an audit raised questions about $27,000 in expenses he’d submitted.
Interim Superintendent Theodore Johnson and board President Belinda Manning resigned in 2003 after Graves intervened to allow a suspended student who was a family member to attend the prom.
Delois Campbell, largely credited with helping raise elementary school test scores in 2004 as a state consultant, lasted just months as interim superintendent in 2006 before resigning after a closed-session meeting with the school board.
District employee Tauheedah Abdullah sued the district in 2007 claiming she was ostracized and retaliated against for pointing out the district was not in compliance with state law regarding Open Public Records Act requests. A mediated settlement awarded her $225,000.
District employee Maurice Lesser filed a reverse discrimination suit in 2007 saying he was twice passed over for promotions that were instead given to less-qualified candidates, one of whom was later terminated for performance. Lesser was awarded $180,000, according to district data.
In 2007, Pleasantville school board members President Jayson Adams, Vice President James Pressley, Rafael Velez, Maurice “Pete” Callaway and James McCormick were arrested on federal charges of taking payments in exchange for backing certain contracts before the board. All pleaded or were found guilty.
In 2008, the school board earned just 11 points out of 100 for school governance on its 2008 monitoring report by the Department of Education. In August of that year, a majority of members walked out of the board meeting following a closed session, forcing the meeting to adjourn before addressing any items on the agenda.
A state Office of the Comptroller report in July of this year cited three Pleasantville school board members for allegedly filing false applications that allowed family members to get free or reduced-priced meals at school.
- If you go
The Pleasantville Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. today at the Pleasantville High School cafeteria, 701 Mill Road.
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:30 am
Atlantic County News,
Atlantic City | Pleasantville | Brigantine,
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:30 am.