Concerned citizens taking action against Taylor County Board of Education

BUTLER, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Cathy Lowe couldn’t understand why Taylor County Superintendent Dr. Gary Gibson was fired. Her granddaughter attends Taylor County High School.

“My granddaughter wanted to know why they let Dr. Gibson go, because he was a good man,” Lowe said.

Dr. Gibson was let go in September after the board of education voted 3-2. The reason has still not been disclosed which leaves many parents confused. They say Dr. Gibson was like no other superintendent.

“He was for our students, he came here at a time of need,” said Lowe.

Lowe says Dr. Gibson’s termination was illegal. As a result, Lowe and other parents joined together to create the concerned citizens of Taylor county.

“We tried to work it out with the board, the board did not want to listen to anything we had to say about what was going on in the school system,” said Lowe.

So they hired Roger Land, an Atlanta attorney. Land looked into the case and says he found many issues with Dr. Gibson’s termination.

“Well it starts out with nepotism,” Land said in a phone interview. “Which could have been in the middle of 2015 and the law, the way it’s written, no board member can serve after a relative works for the school system.”

Land gave the example of Rufus Green, who currently serves on the board, is related to high school principal, Shonda Green. The group’s attorney argues that would make the 3-2 vote illegal, violating the Georgia law.

“The second thing, was the way Dr. Gibson was terminated, violated even their own contract provisions,” Land continued. “One of those was to give them a 90 days notice, which they didn’t do.”

The board of education has no comment on any of these accusations. But the school district’s attorney, Brian Smith, says he can’t really speak on much, because there is no lawsuit yet. Smith did speak on whether or not votes were illegal.

“Even if it were later determined by a judge that a board member wasn’t eligible to serve at the time,” Smith said in a phone interview. “Until that determination takes place, all the votes are valid.”

Smith also says Green decided not to serve on the board next year.

Until then, Lowe and the concerned citizens group will keep fighting. Even if it means they have to pay for a lawyer out of their own pocket. because they say he’s worth it.

“He was about doing whatever it took to make Taylor county high school, the whole school system a better place,” Lowe said.

The Concerned Citizens of Taylor County group’s lawyer said his team is looking at and comparing Dr. Gibson and current superintendent, Jennifer Albrtitton’s contracts. They say albritton’s contract was written differently than Gibson’s.

They plan to file the lawsuit this week.

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Categories: Local News, Taylor County

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