Some Paychecks Late At Harrison County Schools

Becky Smith is a secretary at Harrison Central Elementary School.  She showed up at the district's administration office expecting a check.

"As far as we know," she said, "it was supposed to be payday."

Smith was one of about three dozen non-certified school employees who showed up Friday at the Highway 49 school district offices. They were unaware that because of the holidays, paychecks went out Thursday, not Friday.

Cindy Cooksey was so mad that she couldn't get her check, she called her supervisor.  "It's after the holidays," Cooksey said.  "A lot of people are sick. We need to go to the doctor. And we need our money."

What the school district employees said they didn't need was a locked school district door on what they thought was payday.  One woman walked up to the door, noticed it was locked, and angrily walked away.  She lamented that "I came to pick up my check up and no one is here to give it to me."

School bus driver Pamela Hall understood that miscommunication caused this confusion.  Nevertheless, she said, "It's wrong. My balance is a zero balance. I did all my Christmas shopping with the little money that I did have, expecting today's check to pay my bills. And I can't even pay any bills today."

Harrison County school officials say they e-mailed a memo to all principals the day Christmas vacation started. The memo said checks would be at the administration office Thursday December 28th. These ladies never got the message.

With a smile on her face, Becky Smith said the situation is "very aggravating and really inconvenient."

Late Friday afternoon, Harrison County superintendent Henry Arledge had the assistant superintendent open the adminstration offices to pass out the remaining paychecks. Employees who didn't get their checks Friday, can pick them up Tuesday at the school district's Highway 49 headquarters.