Concerns Raised About Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy Being Placed On Leave | St. Louis Public Radio

Concerns Raised About Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy Being Placed On Leave

Nov 8, 2013

This afternoon several community activists in north St. Louis County voiced their frustration with the Ferguson-Florissant School Board’s decision to place Superintendent Art McCoy on administrative leave.

Rev. Freddy Clark of Shalom Church, City of Peace said parents and community members want an explanation, immediately.  Clark, who is part of the Citizen’s Task Force on Excellence in Education, denounced the move and said McCoy is a gifted educator.

“Anything short of Dr. McCoy not being reinstated, then personally, I will be asking for the resignations of every board member,” Clark said.

Members of a coalition of community members and religious leaders were joined by St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in strongly denouncing the move.

Dooley said McCoy is especially skilled at ensuring African American children succeed in the classroom.  

“I am not one to meddle in other people’s business, but I cannot understand their motivation,” Dooley said.  “If Dr. McCoy’s philosophy is different than the board’s, then what is the board’s philosophy?”

Students echoed the sentiment of speaker after speaker at Shalom Church, City of Peace in north St. Louis County, calling for McCoy’s reinstatement.

“He has faith in us,” said McCluer North High School student Caro Brown.  “He stands behind us, and supports us fully, and we believe he should be reinstated as soon as possible.”

School board President Paul Morris says it was a personnel matter and that district policy prevents him from saying anything more at this time.  He did say the decision was not based on the way McCoy has handled the controversial school transfer process.

The Ferguson-Florissant school district has accepted well over 400 transfer students, second only in number to Francis Howell in St. Charles County.

Supporters of McCoy say they plan to pack the school board’s next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13.    

Follow Tim Lloyd on Twitter@TimSLloyd