Fayette Ware students protest change in leadership - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fayette Ware students protest change in leadership

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

SOMERVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - Dozens of high school students walked out of class Friday morning in an organized protest.

The protest arose out of a change of leadership that was recently forced on Fayette Ware High School students.  Last week, the Fayette County School board voted to replace county schools superintendent Myles Wilson by buying out his contract.

"They have questions and things they want to know I certainly can't give to them," Fayette Ware High School principal Sonny Hicks said.

Hicks said students held a peaceful protest outside their school Friday morning in support of Wilson.  Presidents of the senior class and student government found Wilson's removal to be an untimely distraction.

"We feel like it was very unjustice-like to do that right in between our school semester exams and our gateway tests," student Keith Rivers said.

But school board members say Wilson's performance was a bigger distraction.

"There were several issues regarding Mr. Wilson.  A breach of privacy, a breach of board policy and a charge of insubordination," board member David Barnes said in a statement. "We felt it was time for new leadership.  And an outside consultant agreed."

Students say if another superintendent can do a good job, so be it.   What they resent is being left out of the process.

"There is no Fayette County School System without the students, so we feel that we have that right, but for some reason they feel like we don't deserve the answers to our questions," student Quantaria Wallers said.

Wilson's contract was to expire June 30, 2011.  He will continue to be paid his normal salary until January, and then the board will decide whether to keep him on the payroll or pay him the balance on his contract.

Another meeting of the Fayette County School Board has been scheduled for Monday night at 6:00, and high school students say they plan to be there.

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