Robeson County School Board rescinds offer to new superintendent

Robeson County School Board rescinds offer to new superintendent
(Source: Raycom Media)

ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) – A motion to hire a new superintendent for Robeson County was rescinded Monday night during an emergency school board meeting.

Thomas Graves, an educator from Virginia, was initially set to become the new head of the Robeson County School District, at a salary of $180,000 a year.

However, the board voted to rescind the offer, which elicited cheers from the crowd in attendance at the meeting.

In other developments in the search for a new superintendent, attorney Gary Locklear filed a temporary restraining order on behalf of two minors who are enrolled in the Robeson County school system.

The suit is against the school board and alleges the process they went through to buy out the former superintendent's contract and hire a new one went against district policy.

"That's not the way you do business. It's a violation of their sworn oath. It's a violation of their ethical code," Locklear said.

School board member John Campbell said he did not vote to hire Graves as superintendent and believed this was the right move.

"The board realized that we were in violation of our own policy to hire him in that method," said Campbell.

He added he will not support Graves as a superintendent in the future.

"Based on his judgment to come in that way - to accept that and walk around the county, introducing himself as if he's already superintendent, visiting schools, going to community meetings, talking about what he's going to do - I think it's a lack of judgment. No, I would never support him," Campbell said.

Dr. Shanita Wooten, the interim superintendent, will stay in place until Feb. 15, or the next school board meeting.

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