Judge reinstates Dr. Witherspoon as superintendent - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Judge reinstates Dr. Witherspoon as superintendent

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The battle of the Birmingham school board has taken another big turn. A judge has reinstated Dr. Craig Witherspoon as the Birmingham School Superintendent. This comes, after massive confusion at Tuesday night's school board meeting. Dr. Witherspoon's attorney, U.W. Clemon, tells us starting Thursday morning, the superintendent will be back in his office after being locked out. Wednesday afternoon, a judge granted a temporary restraining order against the school board's vote to fire him.

Tuesday night's meeting started with concern from students still unclear when they'll start back to school this Fall - And teachers not sure if they would still have a job. Several students begged board members not to let them go.

"I don't think you will find too many dedicated people as Mr. Howell,  who have touched the lives of their students," a 7th grader at Washington School said.

"You can never be sure with us!" Virginia Volker, school board member said.

But the meeting took a different turn. The board president made a motion to terminate Dr. Witherspoon's contract and board members voted in Chief Operations Officer Samuetta Drew. As she took her seat,  police escorted Dr. Witherspoon out.

"I've learned not to listen to rumors and to take it one day at a time," Samuetta Drew, Birmingham schools C.O.O. said. "When boards actually take an action, then I make the adjustments needed at that time."

The state then overturned that decision and State Superintendent, Dr. Tommy Bice, reinstated him.

But when Dr. Witherspoon came to work this morning, his door was locked. And Samuetta Drew's car occupied his parking space. Even state school leaders found they had no access to the building, and ABC 33/40 caught up with them at their meeting at the Tutweiler Hotel.

"The state superintendent clearly has the authority to do what he has done to date, and obviously the Birmingham Board, at least the majority of the board do not agree with the well-established authority so I assume the courts or someone will have to answer that question," Dr. Ed Richardson, state investigating committee leader said.

They did. Wednesday afternoon, a judge granted a restraining order on the board's decision putting Dr. Craig Witherspoon back in the driver's seat.

We've been told State Superintendent, Dr. Tommy Bice will continue meeting with the Birmingham school board President, Edward Maddox along with the attorneys in Montgomery. The school board has set another meeting for this Friday evening at 5:30 planning to pick up where it left off from Wednesday night's meeting.