At its July school board meeting, there were questions raised about a June anti-bullying field trip that a board chair Andrea Harrison, four students and a teacher took to Atlanta, Ga.
Proper paperwork needed to have been filed beforehand and board members pointed out that the administrative side of the request was not met.
That matter was dealt with in executive session at the meeting. Afterwards, Harrison elaborated on the circumstances.
Earlier this year, a high school faculty member inquired about going to the conference on girl bullying but was told there were no funds for it.
Harrison asked Interim Superintendent David Eubanks if he could find funding for the faculty member to go and to take four students. She said the field trip “fell through the cracks” and was not placed on the formal meeting agenda for approval.
“The implication was that I had done something unethical,” she said. “In hindsight maybe I should not have placed Dr. David Eubanks in that position, but as a board member I believe our duty is to do what is in the best interest of our children. The children are my passion. They are the reason I am on the board. These four young ladies had difficulties during the year and faculty thought it would help to educate them. It is something I will never do again, that I can promise you, but it was done with the best intentions.”
She said the board understood her predicament but felt she had overstepped her bounds.
Harrison requested the matter be taken up in executive session to avoid causing one more black eye for Fairfield by dealing with it in open session. She said that any citizen wanting to know more about the case could feel free to contact her.
Board member MarchellaPauling said that the public needed to be made aware of the field trip and how it was sponsored and that she had asked for documentation on the matter and not yet received it.
Board member Annie McDaniel said the key was to make sure the board was handling the issue in the proper fashion.
McDaniel pointed out that first readings needed to be labeled as such on the agenda.