“I’m telling the community you better not be silent,” NAACP Liberty Branch President Graylan Quarterman told a mass meeting Sunday at the Performing Arts Center. Quarterman said, adding ”we will come Tuesday,” referring to the board of education’s scheduled May 11 meeting where he planned a presentation.
Quarterman told the meeting that he had consulted an attorney about the power of the school board to sanction individual members and been told that power was limited.
He said he was looking for another legal adviser in hopes of a wider view of board power.
The individual board member referred to is apparently Marcus Scott IV, who has disagreed with the majority and Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee.
Four board members attended the Sunday meeting and Quarterman said District 4 member Marcia Anderson was unable to attend because of a serious illness in her family while Yvette Keel, who represents District 6, had a previous engagement.
Quarterman said all board members had been invited but there had been no word from Scott.
Board Chairwoman Lily Baker and members Verdell Jones, Carolyn Smith Carter and Carol Guyett attended.
Quarterman said the dispute over choosing a local bank for the school system had been “a smoke screen for the real issue,” and that it had allowed the Coastal Courier to sell a lot of newspapers.
He said the board had the final say on bank choice and that the board had got a better deal by selecting Ameris Bank.
Quarterman said he had issues with the terms of Lee’s departure, saying she brought in needed technology, came into churches and social groups and represented the system well at the local, state and even national levels.
“We’ve heard nothing the superintendent did wrong, we should at least issue a letter of apology,” he said.
Quarterman said, “We need to find common grounds to give our local newspaper something else to write about besides our schools.”
Baker said, “Dr. Lee is moving on,” and reiterated the mutual agreement between Lee and the board would stand. That agreement includes a year’s salary of $190,000 for Lee.