Project: Better Schools

"This is not about sports," said Jerome Watkins. "This is about making elected officials in the school system do what they are supposed to do."

For the past few months Jerome Watkins, his wife Jequema, and other members of the group Supporters of Sumter County High Football have been pushing for upgrades to the school's football program.

In March we showed you pictures of the bathroom and entrance to the stadium. Since that time some changes have been made.

Although she declined comment on camera, Superintendent Lula Larkin did tell us by phone that since our last story, the district has spent almost $40,000 on upgrades. This includes new windows for the concession stand. Also renovatoins are being done on the bathrooms. If you look on both the men's and women's bathrooms, new doors have been added to the outside, as well as redoing the inside, making them handicap accessible.In the future officials say they plan to also add new commodes and sinks to the area.

Although happy about the upgrades, Watkins and his wife say they are still concerned about the way money in the district is being spent. They formally requested copies of spending records for the school's athletic program. In response, they say the school's attorney asked them why they want the records.

NewsCenter 11 contacted the Alabama Department of Education. A representative, James Nuckles, said the Watkins' request can be denied if district officials determine that the request is not for the 'common good' of the district.

If the district denies the request, the Watkins' say they will continue their push for answers. An option is filing a complaint in Circuit Court.

"We've brought legitimate questions to the table, and as we are taxpayers and parents to the school system, we have a right to some answers," said Watkins.