After announcing his resignation last month, the former principal of Franklin-Simpson High discusses why he decided to leave the Simpson County School District.
Dr. Kenneth Jackson says he witnessed inconsistencies in the way school employees were treated.
At a public forum, Dr. Jackson discussed how he thought one particular employee was treated and why he decided to leave.
Lonnie Winston says he dedicated his career and time to the students at Franklin-Simpson Middle as a Special Education teacher, a basketball coach, and as a mentor.
Winston says: "I started out in FCA, I sponsored that. FCA is Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I also did AIMS, which stands for Activating Interest in Minority Students."
Winston says he was told he would have to reapply for his job and then he says he was told the school was going in "another direction," so he didn't get it.
Winston says: "Basically I was told I'd have to interview for my own job and my principal told me, I think out of 7 applicants I was third in the candidate pool."
Dr. Jackson says: "I felt he was dealt an unfair hand, so I'm here to support him and saying to the district that this is the straw that actually broke the camel's back with me as an employee here."
Dr. Jackson says he was never discriminated against, but says he thinks there are inconsistencies in the way employees in the school system were treated.
He says: "It's not about black and white because I saw white as well as blacks treated in a way that I thought the district could have done a better job."
Dr. Jackson says he felt like he was a mentor to Winston and he needed to take a stand.
He says after seeing the way Winston was treated, he didn't feel like he could continue to work for the Simpson County School District.
Dr. Jackson says: "I love Franklin-Simpson. I love this community, I love the kids, and I love the parents. And again people treated me with the utmost respect, but I'm concerned with some of the decisions of other people."
The superintendent of the Simpson County School District, Jim Flynn, says he doesn't feel personnel issues should be discussed in a public manner. He says: "All of our staff members deserve a certain level of privacy as it relates to their circumstances and we need to honor that and be fair to them."
Superintendent Flynn offered to meet with Winston to discuss his concerns. He says: "I've made a commitment to meet with Mr. Winston and hear him and look at opportunities that may be of interest to him."
There's no word on whether Winston has accepted the offer.
Superintendent Flynn says he has an open door policy and residents can contact him at any time if they have concerns.
Superintendent Flynn took notes of the concerns and possible solutions that were addressed at the meeting. He says he'll discuss them all with the Board of Education and wants to have a similar forum in the future to discuss possible solutions.