School board members outraged by supervisors’ remarks

Kim Robins - Posted on Dec 12, 2012 - 01:16 PM

Gloucester School Board members expressed offense Tuesday at remarks made during a Dec. 4 discussion by county supervisors regarding the design of a planned middle school.

During the Dec. 4 meeting, one supervisor said he felt the wool had been pulled over the county board’s eyes, while another suggested that the $18 million allocated for the school should be withheld until supervisors can further review the proposed construction.

"I was offended by the accusation that we, as a board, had been hiding things," school board member Ann Burruss said Tuesday. "I felt very denigrated. I felt very abused."

One supervisor also suggested that teachers were concerned about the school design, but were afraid to speak out. Burruss said Tuesday that teachers were involved in the planning from the beginning, just as with the construction of Peasley Middle School and recent renovations at Abingdon Elementary.

Board member Carla Hook compared the threat to withhold funding to "holding our children hostage." She said it was fine for supervisors to disagree with school board decisions, but added that "it is not acceptable to accuse this board and its staff of dishonesty and incompetence."