Searching for answers


Jennifer Fowler, Editor-in-chief

By: Jennifer Fowler


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All seven members of the Ferguson-Florissant School Board sat in front of 1,500 infuriated parents, students, and employees on Nov. 13th in the gym, with sweaty palms under beaming lights.

The crowd was a sea of murmurs and disapproving looks, as they impatiently waited for the board to disclose the reason as to why Superintendent Dr. McCoy was abruptly placed on leave by the board on Nov 8.

“We want justice,” shouted one of the distressed parents in the bleachers, as the board introduced themselves and began to complete their scheduled agenda. Representative Rob Chabot was the first to speak, as he attempted to make amends with the angered attendees.

“I know this is a difficult time, and I know you want answers,” he said.

The board then proceeded to refrain from the issue, which ended in refusal to disclose the reason for suspending Dr. McCoy. In a press release issued by board president Paul Morris, he said “ the reasons for the action we have taken are kept confidential in the interest of maintaining employee privacy.”

“What’s the point of having a meeting if you won’t give us answers?” someone barked.

Chabot readjusted his microphone and wiped his dewing sweat, as he struggled to defend himself.

“I am unable to respond to your questions specifically. But I made a hard decision, and please believe that this decision wasn’t made in haste.”

After addressing the agenda of the meeting, it was time for audience participation, in which there was a positive uproar.

About 50 people stood at the dual podiums to express their opinions to the board, each allowed a three-minute interval to speak.

“You put McCoy on leave because of differences in focus in philosophy. This philosophy hasn’t been revised since May of 1998,” someone pointed out.

The crowd screamed in joy at the demand of explanation.

“You will give us answers,” another person yelled.

Among the others who spoke, McCoy was labeled as a friend, a brother, and a father figure.

“You should be blessed to be on a board who even had Dr. McCoy,” a parent chided.

As the meeting went on, it was driven by passionate parents, who ranged from a mix of completely in shock to “not surprised, but disgusted,” as one person who spoke pointed out.

The crowd generally supported the speakers as they immensely expressed  their feelings to a silent board.

The community pushed to get answers, and an investigation has been initiated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to provide further details.