Search For Caddo Parish School Superintendent Turns Ugly

Published: Dec. 5, 2007 at 3:48 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2007 at 2:07 AM CST
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"I move that the board select Doctor Aquine Jackson as Superintendent of Caddo Parish Schools." Dozens packed into the school board Tuesday to hear the name of what was suppose to be the next Superintendent of Caddo Parish Schools, but instead, they saw a school board divided. Twice Doctor Aquine Jackson was nominated for the top educators job, and twice, Jackson was opposed by board members Barry Rachal, Phillip Guin, Ginger Armstrong, Charlotte Crawley, Bonita Crawford and Larry Ramsey, splitting the vote down racial lines, and causing tempers to flare. 
"We're not going to be divided in the board. We are a family. We're not going to let the city say that we're racist." Board member Tammy Phelps was very upset at one board members motion to begin negotiations with the two other finalists. "The least qualified in your mind is the most qualified. I'm appalled, really is it because they are black?
Finally. the board reached a decision to postpone naming a superintendent, until after the board travels to Milwaukee to interview Jackson.
Board President Phillip Guin is one of those who opposed Jackson. Guin says the board at some point will find a candidate, and no matter what, race will be an issue. "I believe every vote that every board member casts has race as a part of that decision making process, only because we represent ." And some are hoping to overcome the process..and hopes the right person is picked for the job.

Story By: Jonathan McCall