Brian Entin, WTOC (Ridgeland), May 29, 2012
Over 100 people turned out for the Jasper County School Board meeting Tuesday night when a presentation was planned on consolidating schools.
But the meeting abruptly ended shortly after it began after a verbal altercation between Board Chairwoman Kathleen Smooks and Board Member Randy Horton.
“I’m an elected official and a public person and I wanted to speak like anyone else,” Horton said.
But when he tried to speak during the public comment session, Smooks immediately spoke over him and then started hitting her gavel.
“This is the first environment I’ve worked in where board members are out of control. They are totally out of control,” Jasper County Superintendent Dr. Vashti Washington said.
The board chairwoman abruptly ended the meeting when Horton would not sit down or stop talking.
“They’ve done this to me before. Whenever there is something I want to speak about, I ask for it on the agenda, and it is never on the agenda,” Horton said.
The superintendent says in her thirty years in Education, she’s never experienced a board altercation like the one at Tuesday night’s meeting.