Parents express concern with TPSD administration

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A large group of parents met at the Link Centre on Tuesday night to express concerns about the Tupelo Public School District administration.

The meeting was led by John Sanders, a parent, who said the group was there to support the school system, if not the people who run it.

“We are trying to form the argument that we disagree with the administration’s actions,” Sanders said. “We demand a good public school system.”

The gathering of about 80 parents featured many supporters of fired Tupelo High School choral director Calvin Ellis, but also included a broader audience.

Sanders and others said they feel the administration is too distant from the community and they are disappointed with the way it handled the Ellis situation and other problems. They also expressed frustration that the supporters of Ellis were branded as radicals.

“When the superintendent comes, we want to mandate that we don’t trust the administration,” Sanders said.

Added parent Emily Holman: “We don’t feel valued, and we don’t feel like we have a voice.”

Former school board member Shawn Brevard was among those who attended the meeting.

“It is fair to say clearly there is a lack of trust and that should be a concern to all of us,” Brevard said. “I don’t think anyone out there is deliberately trying to do evil but we have an issue that needs to be addressed.”

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com