Speakers back Bidwell re-hiring

Stephanie Howze-Jones, and her daughter Haleigh Ming, address the school board. Photo available for purchase

Stephanie Howze-Jones, and her daughter Haleigh Ming, address the school board.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 09:07 AM.

The Franklin County School Board listened last week to several appeals from the public to retain Eric Bidwell as principal.

High school teacher Stephanie Howze-Jones presented petitions May 8 of about 200 names, some broken down by individual districts, to the school board members, who mainly listened without comment to her words, as well as those from a handful of Bidwell backers.

After sophomore Jaylynn Lyston, one of the first to speak, told of how she and two friends gathered signatures on a petition to keep Bidwell, School Board Member Teresa Ann Martin questioned when this had taken place.

“That’s a big concern of mine, signing signatures during classroom time,” said Martin.

“We did it between classes and at breakfasts, not during school,” said Lyston. “Our principal has been a great principal. He has been helpful and supportive to me, and he makes himself approachable and easy to talk to. He is bringing a change to the school.”

When Howze-Jones rose to speak, she was accompanied by her daughter, senior Haleigh Ming, to answer questions about how the petition drive was handled. “I just want to clear the air before we get started,” said Howze-Jones.

Ming said she had offered the petition to classmates just the day before, only to find one teacher tell her she could not do it inside their classroom. “That might have been why you got a report,” said Howze-Jones.

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