Superintendent Demond Means said he planned on leaving his position after the Clarke County Board of Education voted on a letter alleging ethics violations against Means at a BOE meeting in Athens, Georgia on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach)

Clarke County School District Superintendent Demond Means “remains under contract and continues to carry out his duties,” according to a Nov. 22 CCSD press release. The statement comes the day after Means said he planned to leave his position during a CCSD Board of Education meeting on Nov. 21.

Means made the statement about leaving his position after the BOE voted 5-2 to send a letter to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which monitors the “professional conduct” of public school employees in the state. The letter states the board does not believe further PSC investigation into an ethics complaint against Means is necessary, but that the board “will determine the best measures for addressing the concerns” addressed in the letter. The last phrase was added to the letter during the meeting by a 5-2 vote.

According to Flagpole Magazine, an ethics complaint against Means was filed with GPSC on May 3 that alleged the superintendent plagiarized, accepted gifts and lied on his superintendent application. In the GPSC letter, the board said two of the allegations — plagiarism and accepting gifts — were valid but not serious enough to warrant GPSC intervention. The letter said the lying allegation was false.

District 9 BOE member Tawana Mattox, who suggested the amendment to the letter, said the BOE needs to hold Means accountable for the complaints mentioned in the letter.

“No one’s perfect … but these are violations, and I believe that we need to recognize that,” Mattox said.

As soon as the vote to send the amended letter passed, Means recommended the board enter executive session to discuss the terms of him leaving his position.

“By virtue of that vote, you don’t want me as superintendent, and we need to have a discussion on how I leave,” Means said. “Your vote [and the amendment] this evening [are] political in nature. I don’t think it was unbiased. It’s extremely disappointing … you don’t want me here, and that’s fine.”

BOE members Greg Davis, Kara Dyckman, John Knox, Mattox and Patricia Yager voted to send the letter, while Linda Davis and Charles Worthy voted against sending the letter. Frances Berry, who resigned effective Nov. 15 for “personal reasons," was not at the meeting.

When the board tried to move on to the final topic of the night, people in the audience began “heckling” Mattox, and Linda Davis, who was presiding in President LaKeisha Gantt’s absence, called for an early adjournment of the meeting because of the “deterioration of the meeting,” as Linda Davis described it.

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