BOE talks about, urges quicker transparency

Katelin Gandee Senior writer

LAURINBURG — Transparency. That was what was asked about by the Scotland County Board of Education Onday, aimed at Superintendent Takeda LeGrand and her cabinet.

During an update from Chief Operations Officer Adell Baldwin Jr. on the strategic plan for safety across the district, he was asked about how information is given out to parents.

“As far as getting it out to the parents, principals make that decision after we get all the information,” Baldwin said. “They do notify parents, every call we’ve had this year we’ve sent a call out to parents … we try not to send it out until we have all the facts. As soon as we get it, we get the information verified and the principal sends the information out.”

Board member Raymond Hyatt asked why the information wasn’t getting out to parents quickly, and said it could cause some confusion and issues if the system waits.

“Talking about informing parents, I think going back to the recent incident that took place at the high school, a call went out but it was days after and you had a weekend for rumors to spread,” Hyatt said. “I understand that you want all the information that you can in place but to inform parents as soon as possible that an event has taken place, that law enforcement is involved and as information comes in we’ll give out more information.

“I think there was a feeling that the system was hiding and protecting and not being transparent which caused even more fear than if they would have know something earlier,” Hyatt added.

Board Chair Rick Singletary added he wanted to know how parents were being informed of the facts and making sure that factual information is being shared.

“I think also we need to make sure that the media is aware so folks who read The Laurinburg Exchange or listen to WLNC can help spread the truth,” Singletary said. “It can never get to where folks are saying you aren’t being transparent … as a school district we have to make sure that we’re really staying on top of it, because these things aren’t just happening in Scotland County, they’re happening everywhere.

“But since they’re happening everywhere, we need to be able to deal with it head-on,” he added. “We have to make sure parents understand there are consequences if their child makes the wrong decision, there’s a price to pay.”

Other than pointing out that Davde Wells was the liaison for the local media, LeGrand made no comments on the issue.

No action was taken on discussing the transparency of the school system and how the board will be moving forward.

Reach Katelin Gandee at [email protected]