Lawrence County NAACP suggests principal candidates for two schools

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. - Delegates from the Lawrence County NAACP went before the school board Monday evening, hoping to sway its decision on who leads two schools in North Courtland and Town Creek.

Representatives urged the board to consider two people they recommended for the principal positions at R.A. Hubbard High and Hazlewood Elementary.

Superintendent Jon Bret Smith says they acknowledge the recommendations, but that one of the positions isn't open. At the meeting, the school board voted to transfer Moulton Middle's principal to Hazlewood Elementary.

"But we’re not in a agreement with that replacement, we would like to see our recommendation," said NAACP First Vice President Bobby Diggs.

The only open position is at R.A. Hubbard High.

"We feel our recommendation will be strongly considered and hopefully we can get that person," said Diggs.

They are not naming the recommended candidates, but say one is currently a Lawrence County Board of Education employee. The other is not, but previously held a principal position in another district.

"From a variety of ways, people are recommended, but it doesn't have any more effect than anything else does," said Smith.

NAACP representatives are confident that the placement of their recommended leaders will stop the bleeding in the school system.

"We're losing 13 kids every year from Hazlewood Elementary and that's $6,300 per kid thats leaving this system," explained Diggs.

"But to say its the only place we're losing students is incredibly untrue," explained Smith. He explains the district has been under a federal desegregation order for decades, and they've felt the effects. "Since the late 90s or early 2000s the Lawrence County Schools district has lost, on average, about 80 students a year."

Those losses, he says, have been district wide, regardless of community, or principal. He says they don't take the hiring process lightly, and aim to do what's best for the district.

NAACP representatives say they hope to have the Hazlewood transfer reversed and hope to see their recommended candidates fill that position, and the one at R. A. Hubbard.