Superintendent accused of trying to silence school board

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Updated: 5/07/2013 11:28 pm
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Tension continues to mount between members of the Clay County School Board and Superintendent Charlie Van Zant.

Some board members tell Action News, the superintendent wants all job-related questions sent to him, not school staff.

Clay County School Board Chair, Carol Studdard, says she recently got a call from a senior staff member at the district office and now believes the already contentious communications between the two sides is only going to get worse.

She says the superintendent is blocking board members from talking to school district staffer.

"Tells me that if I or any other board member had any questions in the future that we are not to call staff, that we are to call him," said Studdard. 

Board members tell me they rely on speaking with staff members every week to get input on school-related issues.

Action News went to district headquarters in Green Cove Springs to get answers from the superintendent but was told Van Zant couldn't wasn't available.

School Board member Janice Kerekes says the superintendent is cutting off a vital line of communication.

"It could possibly be considered a gag order if the school board is not permitted to talk to staff. Which they are the experts in their field. We need to be able to have access to them," said Kerekes.

Unlike Duval County, the Clay County superintendent is elected, not hired by the school board.

Studdard says the board can only hope squabbling between school leaders won't impact student success.

"We need to concentrate on what we're there for," said Studdard. "This political maneuvering just needs to stop."

Studdard tells Action News she plans to bring this issue up at next week's meeting.

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imtellin - 5/8/2013 4:42 PM
0 Votes
sounds like herr van zant,, needs to remember he is in America, not hitler's Nazi Germany of th3 30's & 40's... also the voting public of clay county elected him,, they can remove him by a recall election !!! all of us have had a lunatic boss like van zant at one time or another,, there are ways to force his removal with or without his consent... level some sexual harassment charges against him,,, get him placed on probation & watch him self destruct !!!

clay voice - 5/8/2013 1:04 PM
0 Votes
Realchange - Clay County has a much better School System than Duval. It was built by Board members like Carol Studdard, and is now being shackled and dismantled by Charlie Van Zant. He was not "elected" fairly. A shill candidate prevented 58,000 people from voting in the election. If not for that, Wortham would likely still be the Superintendent. Trying to keep Board members from communicating with District personnel is a power-play, and shows that Van Zant is afraid his staff will hear the truth and see the wasteful spending that Van Zant is doing - giving tax dollars from the school budget to his buddies. Really? Eric Jaffe was just handed $2500 to "consult" about upgrades to the AV room that the Board meetings are held in. But the Board is unaware of any "needed" upgrades. And, that money doesn't include the work! The purchase order for Jaffe's Integrity Consulting has the Journey Church address on it. C'mon folks. It is obvious what Van Zant is doing. And it is costing Clay citizens tax dollars, and Clay students their education. GET THIS GUY OUT OF OFFICE.

Fred Thompson - 5/8/2013 9:43 AM
0 Votes
Years of disfuntionalism hasent taught them a thing' put dicessions back into the parents hands for their childs needs

Realchange - 5/8/2013 8:40 AM
0 Votes
Duval county school board needs replacing. Superintendent should be elected to office by the people not appointed and owning their job to other elected officals.
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