Vermilion School Board Eliminates Legal Counsel Position
If we're going strictly off appearances and actions one could safely deduce that some members of the Vermilion Parish School Board don't care for Superintendent Jerome Puyau. If you've followed the actions of this body over the past year or so you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that out.
We knew something interesting would take place at last night's meeting of the VPSB. That's because Superintendent Puyau had already had his legal counsel send a letter to the board before the meeting warning them about actions that were being considered on two specific items on the agenda.
One of the items on the agenda was voted for and passed by the board. That item was the elimination of the position of Risk Manager/ Legal Counsel. That was one of the issues Superintendent Puyau's attorney addressed in his letter to the board on Wednesday.
While the Board is certainly within their rights to eliminate a position the way this position has been eliminated could open the board up for potential litigation. Those lawsuits could come from the person whose position is being eliminated as well as Superintendent Puyau.
The scenario plays out like this. The board eliminates the position. The Superintendent has to fire the employee in that position. The employee could then bring legal action saying they were fired without just cause. The Superintendent could then be fired for violating his contract which has provisions against firing people without just cause.
This appears to be just another legal can of worms the Vermilion Parish School Board has chosen to open. A can of worms that could result in more legal bills instead of more money for education. While I am sure board members feel they have justification to take this action and previous actions it doesn't appear they are going about those actions in the most appropriate ways.
What a lot of people in the parish don't understand is this. Vermilion Parish Schools are performing well. Test scores are up and the school system, other than the issues with the school board, appears to be very well respected across the state. Isn't that the most important part of a Superintendent's job?
I am sure there is more to the underlying story than what we've been told. But from the outside, it sure looks like the egos of adults are doing everything they can to disrupt the educational process. If the board doesn't want Jerome Puyau as their Superintendent, then don't renew his contract. In the meantime stop spending money earmarked for education on attorneys.