Benton Harbor School Board meeting turns heated - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Benton Harbor School Board meeting turns heated

Posted:

What was expected to be a routine meeting, got heated Tuesday.

An emotional parent let loose at the Benton Harbor School Board meeting, frustrated about his kids' homework assignment.

The parent, who missed his turn to talk during the public comment portion, wasn't staying quiet.

He passed a written complaint to one of the board of the board members who then shared his concern. He says his 6th and 8th grade children were given a homework assignment asking them to identify the sounds a duck and cow make.

Then this exchange took place:

School Board President Martha Momamy says, "We already had public participation."

Parent, "I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to the school board."

Momamy "Excuse me?"

Parent, "Be quiet."

Momamy Bangs gavel, "You are out of order."

Parent, "And you are too!"

Momamy, "Excuse me? I may have to have..."

Parent, "I don't care what you do (bangs fists) What are you gonna do about my childrens' learning? That's what I want to hear. Stupid."

Momamy, "Are you calling me stupid?"

Parent, "That's what I said (bangs fists)"

Board members recognized the parent's frustration.

"I don't agree with 8th and 6th graders getting 2nd grade work. We the board need to get busy and truly investigate that," says board member, Willie Lark.

Superintendent Dr. Leonard Seawood says the district should have been able to do some investigating before things got out of hand, saying there's protocol parents should follow and should bring their concerns to the principal first.

"As a board member, that probably should have been pushed back and said, 'You know, we're going to follow up on it.' Instead of forcing us to respond to something we haven't vetted," says Superintendent Dr. Leonard Seawood.

That wasn't the only concern brought up from citizens.

Reverend Edward Pinkney addressed the board saying member Willie Lark should not have voted for a contract extension for Superintendent Seawood because they are in business together.

He says Lark should have recused himself and Seawood should have made the public aware.

"I think we should be asking Dr. Leonard Seawood to resign for failure to fulfill his obligation to the citizens here in the city of Benton Harbor," says Pinkney.

But Seawood says they've checked with attorneys, and aren't breaking any rules.

"There is no court in the land that would look at that as a conflict. I have many investments," says Seawood.

In other school board news, the board voted for a new deficit reduction plan.

Seawood says the state has basically given the district a loan of $2 million to shore up transportation and custodial services. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Timeline of violence in South Bend

    Timeline of violence in South Bend

    Seven people have been killed in South Bend since the beginning of this year.  They aren't just another statistic, though.  They are people that have real families who are suffering.  The first victimMore >>
    Seven people have been killed in South Bend since the beginning of this year.  They aren't just another statistic, though.  They are people that have real families who are suffering.  The first victimMore >>
  • Woman killed in Indiana church parking lot

    Woman killed in Indiana church parking lot

    Police say a Northwest Indiana man shot his estranged wife in front of the couple's son Monday. It happened in a church parking lot in Griffith, Indiana. That's Southwest of Gary in Lake County. The coroner there has identified the victim as Nina Castro.More >>
    Police say a Northwest Indiana man shot his estranged wife in front of the couple's son Monday. It happened in a church parking lot in Griffith, Indiana. That's Southwest of Gary in Lake County. The coroner there has identified the victim as Nina Castro.
    More >>
  • Multiple departments called in for late night house fire

    Multiple departments called in for late night house fire

    Clay Township fire crews called in multiple crews to battle a late night house fire. It happened Tuesday night around 11:15 p.m. on Pam Dr.Dispatchers say by 2:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, the fire was mostly clear with just one crew on the scene to watch for hotspots.More >>
    Clay Township fire crews called in multiple crews to battle a late night house fire. It happened Tuesday night around 11:15 p.m. on Pam Dr.Dispatchers say by 2:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, the fire was mostly clear with just one crew on the scene to watch for hotspots.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.