Judge allows dismissal of DeKalb school board members - FOX 35 News Orlando

Judge allows dismissal of DeKalb school board members

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Sources tell FOX 5 that former board chair Eugene Walker refused to resign, making him the lone holdout. Sources tell FOX 5 that former board chair Eugene Walker refused to resign, making him the lone holdout.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

A federal judge ruled against the DeKalb County School Board's request for an injunction that would have stopped their suspensions.

U.S. District Judge Richard Story lifted his previous order that prohibited Gov. Nathan Deal from making new appointments to the school board.

Story made that ruling saying the harm from the loss of accreditation to the school district and the resulting harm to students in the district is profound.

The suspensions came after an in-depth investigation by SACS determined the district was in conflict and chaos and placed the district on probation.

Lawyers for the DeKalb County School Board members claimed that the law giving Governor Deal the authority to suspend them is unconstitutional, and that it ignores the will of the people to elect those they want to represent them.  An attorney for the governor and the State Board of Education says the law isn't meant to punish board members, but rather for the greater good of the students and stakeholders.

Sources tell FOX 5 that interim DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Michael Thurmond wanted to prevent the legal showdown, but the deal broke down because former board chair Eugene Walker refused to resign, making him the lone holdout.

After the ruling, Walker says he's not giving up the fight.  In a statement, Walker said, "I respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree with the judge's decision, and I plan to continue to seek justice through the court system until this matter with the governor is resolved."

Parents leaving a football booster club meeting at Lakeside High School had strong opinions on the DeKalb School Board.

"I have seen the way that funds have been mishandled, the nepotism, the cronyism and the lack of integrity to recognize that the school system has gone very downhill under their watch," said Ellen Beattie.

The governor said a nominating panel that was appointed last week will get to work quickly on filling the open seats so the board can become a functioning body.  The panel is taking applications through Wednesday.

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