Human Relations Commission calls for school board to reopen superintendent search

Dr. Donna Hargens
Dr. Donna Hargens
Dr. Christine Johns
Dr. Christine Johns

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two weeks after the Jefferson County School Board narrowed the search for superintendent to two, community groups are asking them to keep looking. A spokesperson for the Metro Human Relations Commission says the search was rushed and is calling for a minority candidate.

"It was rushed," said Education Commissioner Dawn Wilson with the Human Relations Commission. "It seemed flawed, seems like we're putting the cart before the horse."

The Metro Human Relations Commission that works with fairness and diversity issues. Wilson is criticizing the school board for picking Dr. Donna Hargens and Dr. Christine Johns as the two finalists.

Wilson questions how they would deal with discipline and says they aren't qualified to deal with the student assignment plan. She would like a minority option.

"You had two Caucasian ladies," said Wilson. "We couldn't find somebody who was Hispanic. We couldn't find somebody who is African American. That strikes me as a little strange and I know those candidates are out there."

The NAACP also asked that the board to reopen the search with concerns over the student assignment plan because of the candidate's race. This may sound familiar because the NAACP wrote a letter four years ago asking the board to reopen the search for a candidate with urban school experience. The board didn't and lone candidate, Dr. Sheldon Berman, got the job. In November, however, the board voted him out, which is why members are interviewing to fill the district's top seat.

Mayor Greg Fischer says the Human Relations Commission does not speak for him, and he's not saying whether the search should reopen.

"There's no superman or superwoman out there," said Fischer. "If this was easy, it would be done and duplicated all over the country."

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