Madison County Board of Ed expresses disappointment with superintendent’s treatment of parent

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- The Madison County Board of Education released a statement Friday afternoon following a phone call between Madison County Schools Superintendent Matt Massey and New Market School PTO President Megan Tyler regarding safety at New Market School. Massey strongly criticized the parent involved for raising concerns publicly about alleged safety issues at New Market School.

The phone call took place Tuesday night after Megan Tyler presented concerns about the school's accessibility and security to the Madison County School Board. It was captured and recorded by WHNT News 19, who had a crew present when the parent received the phone call.

In the call, Massey criticized Tyler for raising issues publicly in front of the school board, instead of behind closed doors, saying at one point, "Saying things like you can just walk in the building, that's a dangerous thing. That's basically if somebody is looking to terrorize a school they're now going to target New Market because of that comment. And I don't appreciate that. That was irresponsible."

To that, Tyler responded, "It would be nice to have it fixed then."

You can read more of the conversation here.

In a statement released ahead of the news conference, the school board says in part:

The Madison County Board of Education is extremely disappointed with how this situation was handled. We strongly encourage that the Superintendent use this unfortunate event as an opportunity to conduct himself with more diplomacy in the future. Our students, teachers, and staff are a passionate subject for all of us. However, this does not give any of us the permission to be less than professional and graceful with our words and our actions.

Superintendent Matt Massey responded on Friday afternoon stating: "I respect and appreciate the leadership of the Madison County School Board. I look forward to working with the Board and with parents to provide the best possible education for every student in our district."

On Saturday, March 24th, the New Market PTO released a statement which reads:

The main concern of the parents of New Market School has been and always will be our children. The activities of the past few days have been emotionally exhausting for all parties involved. Focus should remain on the safety and well-being of the children. It was never anyone's intention to cause division among the parents and the Madison County Board of Education. Our intent was to raise awareness of the much needed maintenance, health and safety issues at the New Market School facility. Even though we were disappointed with the reactions from the Madison County Board of Education and the Superintendent, we are hoping that we will be able to work together in a professional manner to resolve the issues at hand. We recognize the faculty and staff at New Market are extremely exceptional. We would like to provide a facility that matches the characteristics of our school. Our focus should remain on the children.