State overturns Pleasantville superintendent suspension - NBC40.net

State overturns Pleasantville superintendent suspension

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PLEASANTVILLE -

The vote to suspend the Pleasantville School District superintendent has been overturned, officials say.

According to district business administrator/school board secretary Dennis Mulvihill, the vote was reviewed and overturned by the New Jersey state monitor late Wednesday.

It was a heated meeting for the Pleasantville Board of Education Tuesday night, when the board made a controversial decision regarding the district's superintendent.

"It's just a sad day today, that's all," said one parent, "It was...it was a fiasco."

The meeting ended abruptly after 5 out of the 9 Pleasantville Board of Education board members voted in favor of suspending the district's superintendent, Dr. Garnell Bailey.

Lisa Brown, a former district employee, said, "That was it, everybody started yelling, people were speaking on the microphone and then everybody left.  It was just not how something should have been run."

After the board met in an executive agenda meeting for over an hour, some board members questioned why the vote to suspend Dr. Bailey was even taking place in the first place.

Board members even argued in front of concerned parents watching in the crowd.

The board voted to suspend Dr. Bailey on administrative leave and to bring in Sophia Patricia, a former district employee, to serve as superintendent.

Juanita Hyman, a concerned aunt and grandmother of students in Pleasantville, said,  "No one even knows who this Sophia Patricia is.  I've never seen her before.  So how can you bring someone to the district without introducing them to the public, to the parents, or to the community?  We don't even know who she is."

5 board members left the room after the vote, ignoring the mandatory public comment section of the meeting.

But that didn't stop angry citizens from getting on the microphone anyway.

Hyman addressed the crowd saying, "This is personal - you have to get Dr. Bailey out of the way in order to be able to do what you want to do with the funds.  Not spend them on the children, spend them on your own personal agenda."

Concerned Pleasantville district employees in attendance said almost none of the other reports on the agenda were discussed.

"I just feel bad for these kids in the community, that's all," said Brown.

No official reason was given for Dr. Bailey's suspension, and board officials were not immediately available for comment.

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