Allegations of Discrimination in Decision Not to Renew Dover HS - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Allegations of Discrimination in Decision Not to Renew Dover HS Principal's Contract

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Demands for an explanation and allegations of discrimination were flying in the Capital School District Thursday.

Right now Evelyn Edney is principal at Dover High School - but not for much longer. The Capital Board of Education decided back in November not to renew her contract.

Edney has been at Dover High, as principal or co-principal, since 2012. According to the board, since that time her contract was renewed once.

Another renewal came up for vote in November. This time the board voted not to renew.

Standing in the very room where the board of education meets, a group of district residents showed their support for Evelyn Edney Thursday afternoon.

Ron Lockerman has three kids at Dover HS.

"If it were an election, she'd have my vote for keeping her job and having her contract extended," he said.

Dover High recently came off a state watch list. State test scores are heading in a positive direction. And according to people at Thursday's news conference, Edney received a satisfactory evaluation from Superintendent Michael Thomas.

"She should be given a chance to continue what she has started here at the Capital School District," said Lola Bratten, whose grandkids go to Dover HS.

Last month edney told WBOC's media partners at the Delaware State News she was shocked her contract wasn't renewed.

Thursday she told WBOC in a statement, "I am truly humbled by the support of the Kent County community. It means so much to me that they care about Dover High School and the education of students."

Kay Dietz-Sass, president of the board of education, wouldn't say much about the decision not to renew but did tell WBOC in an email, "When a contract is awarded, it is only awarded for the specific time in which they agree to and sign for. Public employees have a right to privacy, and it is a confidential matter."

But community members want answers.

"The board of education are elected by the people," Rev. Rita Mishoe Paige, social action chair of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. "They need to be accountable to the people."

"From where we sit in the community, it appears the board's actions were arbitrary and capricious," said Harold Stafford, a former secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor.

Ray Paylor, a former capital board member, didn't mince words on his feelings on the board's decision.

"They have made a decision based on something other than performance factors. The only other thing it could be is race," he said.

Dietz-Sass wouldn't comment any allegation of racism. But she did say it takes a team to be successful and some of the gains at Dover High were in areas that fell under someone else's responsibility.

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