Livingston District member Kirk Twigg was appointed new chair of the Virginia county’s school board in a Monday night vote.
During the meeting, Twigg called for an unscheduled closed door session, where he followed through on a promise to fire Superintendent Scott Baker, who had already signed an agreement to leave by the end of the year.
Now with a conservative majority, the board voted 4-3 in favor of Baker’s ouster. Those opposed said the action was taken illegally.
“You have not stated any justification or ability to fill the position,” said member Nicole Cole. “You cannot even properly chair a meeting, but yet you’re going to terminate a superintendent for no reason.”
The closed session may have violated Virginia’s open meetings law. The law requires that a public board approves a motion to go into closed session and states what the closed session will be about.
The closed session dealing with Baker was the second of the meeting and was not on the board’s approved agenda.
Outgoing chair Dawn Shelley had harsh words about her replacement.
“He has spoken about confidential (human resources) matters in open session. He is constantly using his AOL account to send and read emails throughout school board meetings. He wants to burn books,” Shelley said.
Twigg has previously called for banning, and even burning, some sexually-explicit books from public school libraries.
The search for a new superintendent will begin immediately. An interim replacement has not yet been named.
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