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Parents hold school board protest

By Trina Trice

Only days after the Rev. Jesse Jackson plunged into the Clayton County School Board controversy, a group of parents carrying signs on Thursday called for the school board to fix the ongoing problems.

Signs that said "HOPE has no color" and "Children First" dotted the protest outside the school administration building.

Many of those attending were parents, taxpayers and teachers.

Taxpayer Lois Hunter said, "Recall and resign, those are the only two words I know. The school board has not done its job. Rev. Jackson, you have not heard the whole story."

About a dozen held the protest before the school board convened to address a tax increase and other issues.

Fred Edenfield of Jonesboro said, "I am just upset with the conduct of the key board members, mainly the chair and vice chair. We have asked them to meet with the public in a town hall meeting. They won't meet with us. However, they can bring in Jackson. We have the talent in this county to solve this problem."

No board members attended the protest.

During a visit on Monday, Jackson was flanked by Board Chairwoman Nedra Ware, Vice Chairwoman Connie Kitchens and appointed board member Carol Kellam.

He defended the three members who have been under fire since the firing of superintendent Dan Colwell and the decision by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to put the district on probation.

One aspect of the loss of accreditation could be the loss of HOPE scholarships by graduating seniors.

Jackson was asked why he didn't invite all board members to meet with him and he later said he would like to meet with all of them.