Lee tenders resignation

By Staff, 09/12/17 10:22 AM

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BLEVINS – Three resignations were accepted by the Blevins School Board at its September meeting Monday night.

The trio of resignations were from two people, Superintendent Billy Lee and Blevins Elementary Principal Lisa Doss. Lee resigned two positions, that of bus driver and superintendent. His last day to head the Blevins School District will be June 30, 2018.

The resignation came following a controversial incident involving students misbehaving on the bus he was driving while he was showing his replacement the route. According to Lee’s attorney, Rowe Stayton, the students wouldn’t listen or follow directions, which was a safety issue as they could have been injured if the bus had to stop suddenly.

The principal over these students recommended they be suspended from riding the bus for a period of time. Their mother, and her son, reportedly confronted Lee when he dropped the other students off with the mother reportedly getting on the bus. Lee asked her to get off so he could complete the route. He was met by her and her son on school grounds, where the confrontation continued.

Stayton said the incident was captured on video, and showed the woman being confrontational. As Lee started to leave, the boy allegedly threw rocks, striking Lee’s personal vehicle.

The mother claims he got out of the car with a weapon, but Stayton told the board and audience, the video clearly shows there was no weapon. Lee refused to file charges against the boy, who has been suspended, under the district’s handbook policies, and faces an expulsion hearing. The boy, it was said, is currently in Hope’s Alternative Learning Environment program.

Stayton made the statement after the meeting ended, and after Lee’s resignation had been accepted. He pointed out allegations have been made on social media concerning Lee’s behavior, and there has been a televised report of the incident. He offered to publicly show the video, with the board’s permission. Lee, though, said it wouldn’t be proper to show the video because it shows minors.

Lee admitted filing a report, but said no criminal charges were filed against the boy or his mother. He said the district’s attorney said the video couldn’t be released because juveniles were involved.

Lee is in his eighth year as superintendent for the district, and 34th year in education. “I’ll do something in education,” he said when asked what he’ll do after his resignation takes effect. “I love the Blevins School District. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s best with what’s going on. I believe the students will benefit from it.”

In other business, the board approved a contract disclosure for the district’s IT person, Cindy Hegwood, who has a relative employed by White River Services, a company the district does business with. Such disclosures must be made annually for any member of the board or staff who is involved with an outside business that does business with the district.

The board also approved the annual minority/administrator recruitment plan, and the Act 1120 salary increases for 2016-17. Act 1120 requires board approval for instructors who earn more than 5 percent above their contracted salary. This is usually due to extra duties not included in contracts.

It also approved the ACSIP assurances for 2017-18, which basically states the district will follow ACSIO guidelines as required.

Lee said he’d found a driver to take over the route he’d been driving, but the person failed one part of the commercial driver’s license exam and will retake it Monday, Sept. 18. Once he passes this part, he will become a driver for the district. The new driver will begin on Sept. 19.

Doss’s husband accepted a position out of state, which prompted her resignation, effective Oct. 1. A special meeting will be held on Sept. 20 to begin looking for Doss’s replacement.

Lee’s resignation was also accepted and he will receive a severance package of $135,000.

During the August meeting, Doss had been asked to get more quotes on playground equipment. She provided quotes from two different companies. She suggested getting a community committee together to look into the playground equipment situation and purchase.

The school election will be Sept. 19, with the new board being seated on Oct. 9. It was pointed out the new board members will need to be sworn in before they can take office, or the current members will remain. There will be at least four, possibly five, new members of the board.


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