Thompson acts to ease students' accreditation fears

Clayton County Corrective Superintendent John Thompson met with seniors from the district's eight high schools in the gymnasium of Mt. Zion High School on Tuesday morning in an attempt to ease their fears about the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' (SACS) decision to revoke the school system's accreditation.

The superintendent answered questions posed to him by seniors, and told them he is having a letter prepared to explain the situation, according to district spokesman Charles White.

Thompson explained the district's plans to appeal the decision, but he also outlined other plans, including the reinstatement process, and looking at other accreditation agencies, according to White. Thompson's staff has already begun working on the reinstatement process in case the appeal fails, White added.

"It is our goal to get our accreditation back so these seniors can walk across the stage in May [2009] and receive diplomas from an accredited school system," White said.

The media was not invited to the meeting, but students and parents called the four Atlanta television news stations anyway, White said. Thompson did not allow cameras and reporters into the meeting, except to obtain stock footage, but he did brief the television media afterward to explain what happened in the gymnasium.

  • Curt Yeomans