Originally created 01/12/04

Accrediting group investigating Glynn school board



BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- The agency that accredits schools in the South has begun an investigation into charges of improper conduct by the Glynn County Board of Education.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is investigating whether school board members have violated governing standards that forbid interfering with, hampering or undermining school district administrators.

"In Glynn County's case, if the allegations are substantiated, they would probably be placed on probationary status," said Mark Elgart, the association's executive director.

Accreditation probation, suspension or revocation would make it difficult for Glynn graduates to get into an accredited college or university.

Last year, feuding members of the embattled 10-member board routinely engaged in shouting matches, hurling insults at each other, at Superintendent Robert Winter and at members of the public at board meetings.

The board suspended Winter for unspecified allegations of insubordination just two weeks before the start of school. He was reinstated after almost a month when supporters on the board took advantage of the absence of two of his harshest critics.

Some board members also staged walkouts at meetings, participated in paid advertisements attacking Winter and complained about him to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which oversees educators in the state.

Elgart said only six other school systems have undergone the same type of investigation his group has launched in Glynn County. All have been able to correct any violations, he said.

The Glynn County school district has about 12,00 students and 1,700 employees, making it one of the largest public school systems in south Georgia.