Media clerk firing may dominate Decatur school board meeting

Although Decatur’s school board has a typically long agenda scheduled for its monthly meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Office/Beacon Municipal Center, 125 Electric Avenue, what isn’t included may prove the night’s predominant topic.

Local attorney Tom Stubbs said Monday he plans speaking during the meeting’s public comment portion on Decatur High media clerk Susan Riley, who was fired by Superintendent David Dude Feb. 26, and then put on indefinite paid leave two days later.

Dude said he would contract a third party to review facts and provide an “impartial investigation.” The situation has provoked hundreds to speak out, almost entirely in Riley’s favor, on various social media.

“We don’t need this investigation,” Stubbs said. “It’s inhumane. I want to ask the superintendent to quit hiding behind this bureaucratic shield and simply admit he screwed up. Susan Riley has lifted people and families up for 19 years. We can’t repay her enough.”

Public Comment is the fifth item on the meeting agenda, meaning it should commence in the first half hour. Individual comments are limited to five minutes, and Stubbs believes as many as 25 may show up to speak.

As of Monday afternoon, the third-party mediator had not been named.

“I hated that this happened to Susan,” Stubbs said. “But I’ve told her, what this has shown, it’s reminded us there are bonds that unite us in the community when it comes to our kids’ education.”