It looks as though Birmingham Schools Superintendent Craig Witherspoon’s Good Friday is set to be awful, although the holiday might free up supporters to turn out for a specially called school board meeting.
The Birmingham Board of Education has called a special meeting Friday to discuss Witherspoon’s contract, and it appears the votes are there to fire him.
Board members allied with Witherspoon were blindsided by the special-called meeting, the Birmingham News reports. At least two of those members likely will not be able to be present at the meeting because of the abrupt scheduling.
Board member Tyrone Belcher told the News that Witherspoon does not concentrate enough on athletics.
“He don’t listen. He has got with the wrong people and forgot about everybody else,” Belcher said. “I’d like to see a superintendent that’s going to listen to the people and do the best job he can. I’m talking about academics and athletics. He don’t know what’s going on around here with athletics. I’m just being honest. We’ve got the worst athletics program in town.”
Board Member Brian Giattina said the sudden notice took him by surprise, especially when the board has a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.
“I was shocked to learn about the meeting at 5 o’clock on Good Friday,” Giattina said. “Why is this being called at the last minute on a holiday weekend when we have a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday? It does not make sense. The community needs to be made aware of this so everybody can come and hear the discussion of the superintendent’s contract.”
Witherspoon has battled with the politically vexing and frequently dysfunctional board throughout his tenure. The school board has previously sought a mid-year review of Witherspoon, but failed twice to set goals and criteria by which his performance could be measured.