Moncks Corner, S.C. (WCBD) – A newly-formed coalition of teachers, parents, clergy, and community members is speaking out against the abrupt firing of the Berkeley County School District superintendent.
“I stand here today on behalf of many of the voiceless in the Berkeley County School District who are afraid to speak up and voice their concerns,” Tory Liferidge.
Tory Liferidge is the Senior Pastor at Grace Reformed Episcopal Church. He and a group of several other people gathered in front of the district offices on Wednesday. They called on South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster to assign the Inspector General to investigate the legality of the newly elected school board’s decision to fire Superintendent Deon Jackson and the district’s lawyer, Dr. Tiffany Richardson.
Pastor Liferidge pointed to Section 59-19-315 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, which says “The term of office of every elected trustee of a school district must commence one week following the certification of his election.”
The election in Berkeley County was certified on Friday, November 11th . The board meeting was held on Tuesday, November 15th.
He also referred to Bill S910 which says “notwithstanding any other provision of law, members shall take office at the first meeting of the board following certification of the election.”
There was concern among the coalition that the board may have come to the decision privately before the public meeting.
“According to the Freedom of Information Act, there can be no private meeting of the majority of the school board. And yet, at the first meeting of this new board there was already a selected board chair making calls in that role the weekend before, a new candidate selected, and as we are hearing now, a contract already prepared,” said Liferidge.
The group came up with an online petition to present to the governor. Their goal was to have at least 200 signatures by Monday. They exceeded that goal on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Berkeley County School District released a lengthy document stating why they fired the two employees. You can read more here.