The Madison County School Board gathered on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The evening began with several members of the public expressing their concerns.
Brian Martinez took to the podium first to inform the board that he had a concern with an incident regarding Principal Willie Miles at Madison County Central School. Martinez explained that he was told that Miles was on administrative leave until further notice and that if the Department of Children and Families (DCF) did not find the school board's investigation on Miles thorough, they would take over. Martinez made it clear that until the investigation was completed, he did not want his child near Miles; however, he stated that on Feb. 10 when his child got off the bus, he was told that Miles was back at the school. Martinez was very concerned that he was not informed by Superintendent Doug Brown that Miles was back at the school; during a prior meeting it was agreed between Brown and Martinez that Martinez would know when Miles was returning.
Brown publicly apologized for the miscommunication. “I am confident that based on our investigation and the videos, that the incident [between Miles and your child] did not take place,” Brown told Martinez.
“I sincerely apologize and assure you that we are paying attention [as board members],” said Chair VeEtta Hagan. “When we get the final results [of the investigation], we will make a decision of what needs to happen [to Miles].”
Another member of the public came forward and was displeased with the county's “lack of support” for the MCHS Cowgirls, as they went to state on Feb. 16. “We have not been giving support like we would if it were the boys football,” the citizen said. “We need to support these girls as much as we support the boys.”
Brown provided his input, informing the audience that issues arose in transportation due to short notice. He assured everyone that the school board is in full support of the Cowgirls.
After public comments wrapped up, the board members approved HR workplace services and the seven out-of-county student trips. There were no district transfer requests. The board members also approved screened school volunteers, personnel changes and the advertisement of two non-instructional positions.
To conclude the meeting, Brown informed the board and the audience that the Florida Department of Education graded the Madison County School District as a “C” district. This was great news, as in the past the grades have been “F's” and “D's.”
The next school board meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at 210 NE Duval Ave.