Citizens Signing Petitions Asking Moss Point Superintendent To Step Down - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/29/04

Citizens Signing Petitions Asking Moss Point Superintendent To Step Down

"If she had a true valid interest in our children, our school system wouldn't be in the situation it's in right now," parent Amy Williams says.

Williams and Rita Goff have decided signing this petition asking Dr. Tressie Harper to resign may be the only way Moss Point schools can get back on the right track.

"What value is a diploma from MPHS right now? The schools are rated a 1 or 2," Williams says.

She and Goff are blaming low test scores on high turnover rates and low employee moral.

"I've watched dozen of our highly qualified, extremely productive teachers leave our district and they've gone right down the road in either direction," Goff says.

"They must have had some pretty good reasons or they wouldn't have picked up and left our district."

But detailed reasons remain unknown.

WLOX News obtained a list of more than 20 people who either work for the Moss Point School District or have recently quit. Each one we talked to said the same thing: They all are opposed to the way Dr. Harper has handled the district. But for fear of losing their jobs, they decided to keep quiet.

"They're scared at what will happen to them at school. Retribution against them," Williams says.

But Goff and Williams say if citizens don't ask questions and fail to make Harper responsible for scholastic weaknesses, the only ones that will suffer will be the kids.

"Our children deserve better."

Since most people don't want to actually voice their opinions, Williams and Goff hope the signatures will do the talking.

By Jaimee Goad

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