July 11, 2017 - Members of the Henry County Board of Education listen to citizens express concerns over contract negotiations with superintendent candidate Dr. Timothy Gadson.
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Henry County school board rebuts claims race played role in superintendent decision

Henry County’s school board chairwoman pushed back late Monday against claims by a state senator and other state lawmakers that race was the overriding factor in the board’s decision to rescind a contract to an African-American candidate to run the public school system.

Pam Nutt sent a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that accused state Sen. Emanuel Jones of writing several inaccuracies in a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal asking him to intervene in Henry County’s decision last week to pull a contract with Timothy Gadson III to become its superintendent. Nutt said Gadson’s contract demands were ultimately impractical and said he may have plagiarized portions of his proposed 100-day plan to improve the school district.

“Over a nine day period between June 30, 2017, and July 9, 2017, Dr. Gadson was asked for revisions to his initial counteroffer on two different occasions,” she wrote. “We received none. In addition, during this same time frame, we became aware that Dr. Gadson had potentially plagiarized the 100-day plan that was so attractive to the Board.”

Nutt praised the school district’s diversity and accomplishments. A copy of the entire statement can be read here.

Jones, who is African-American, accused some Henry officials of racism in its decision to pull Gadson’s contract. Nutt said Jones, a Democrat whose district includes portions of Henry County, is seeking media attention to further his political agenda.

Nutt’s statement was sent a few hours after an article about the dispute was completed.

To read more about the issue, click here.

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