MPS to Reorganize Central Office

MPS to Reorganize Central Office

Dr. Sam Thompson with the group, Concerned Citizens for Lauderdale County, says there is concern about the recent non-renewal of deputy superintendent Robert Markham for the next school year.

"I think basically the school board is out of control," said Dr. Sam Thompson.

Recently, the Meridian School Board approved a proposal by school superintendent Sylvia Autry to discontinue the district's deputy superintendent for operations position.

Autry, who plans to retire next year, says the decision to discontinue the position is part of her ongoing effort to streamline things within the district.

"If you look at running a huge organization, we've got 1,000 employees and plugging in positions so that they can be most effective," said Autry.

"This is not about her streamlining anything for the next superintendent," said Thompson. "It's about basically doing what the board wants. It's just a history of things happening all along. I don't think that we can just call it racism because there are whites as well being affected."

Markham has worked with the Meridian Public School District for 40 years. He has now requested a special hearing in hopes of getting the position and his job reinstated.

Autry says often for this type of hearing, a hearing officer from another area is brought in to hear the employee's case. During that hearing she says testimony is given, and at the end the person or persons hearing the case decide what should ultimately happen in the matter.

"We're going to do whatever we have to do to make sure that this school board and superintendent understand that we're no longer going to sit by and allow business as usual," Thompson said.

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