Dr. Ezi informed us that the board voted to terminate her contract. It won’t be finalized until Tuesday so if you want to email the board before this decision is finalized… you can find their emails below.
Let them know what you think about the decision and share any stories about Dr. Ezi’s impact. Show them how far her impact reached during her time as Superintendent.
Keep the emails productive, but show up for Dr. Ezi and spread the word.
Dr. Ezi says that the President of the MS Black Caucus called her and she says they held a board meeting about this story.
She tells Black with No Chaser that they voted unanimously to publicly support her.
They are bringing in members of the national caucus as well.
However, the support also comes with a fair share of people who say that this isn’t worth the attention. Laura Valentine Townsend posted to facebook that she doesn’t understand why Dr. Ezi would take bad about the Stringer community.
Townsend’s post went on to say that she hasn’t heard Dr. Ezi say “one good thing” about Stringer. She feels like she doesn’t want Dr. Ezi to be a mentor or leader for the children. She publicly asked Dr. Ezi to keep the negative comments to herself. Then shared the podcast Dr. Ezi did that we’ve shared snippets of to Instagram.
However, I’ve never heard Dr. Ezi say anything negative about Stringer. In fact, she loves Stringer. She talked highly about the amazing education that kids from Stringer are getting. She raved about the classes that students get to take. She pointed out the disparities between Bay Springs and Stringer. One school has AC in the gym, the other doesn’t. One has super amazing electives for the students, the other has some, not all.
I agree with Cortney McNeil. Bay Springs and Stringer don’t have issues and don’t have issues with each other. But they have differences that cause tension.
Students at Bay Springs are wishing they could have some of the privileges that exist at Stringer. There might be students at Stringer who want something offered at Bay Springs. Dr. Ezi communicated time and time again that students just don’t want to commute for a better opportunity. They want equitable experiences, according to Dr. Ezi’s time with the students.
I have more to say about the screenshots of conversations on Facebook. I will share them here soon.
In Bay Springs, Mississippi, the West Jasper School District Superintendent Dr. Kenitra Ezi is on a paid administrative leave and that decision was voted on by her school board, according to WDAM, a local news station.
She has only been the superintendent since July of 2021, according to WDAM. They say it took months of searching and multiple interviews before they chose Dr. Ezi who has 4 education degrees. She’s been in education for 18 years.
Back in June, Dr. Ezi told WDAM that she was hoping to start “establishing those positive relationships with the parents, community leaders, community members, teachers, students and even other districts employees, just really becoming a part of the great things that Mr. Woodrow has worked so hard to put into place.”
However, now she is fighting for her job. There will be a termination hearing to begin the process of removing Dr. Ezi from her role as the Superintendent.
It appears that Dr. Ezi feels blindsided by employees bringing up grievances about her work so far for the district and she wishes that they would have come to her before voting to suspend her.
It is believes that Dr. Ezi was working to address racial tensions between the Bay Springs and Stringer communities within the school district and her efforts are not being received well.
Dr. Ezi spoke to the board saying that she doesn’t want to be held to a standard that her predecessor was held. She says the school board hasn’t evaluated a superintendent since 2012. She also notes that the Mississippi Department of Education requires districts to do annual evaluations of superintendents. It hasn’t been a year yet.
You can find a list of accomplishments from the superintendent in WDAM’s article that is linked above.
The petition also says that “Dr. Ezi is the first female, African American superintendent of the West Jasper school district. Dr. Ezi was working to unite two schools in the district. One (1) is predominantly white, Stringer schools, and one (1) is predominantly black, Bay Springs schools. As of a result of this, the predominantly white school along with key white members of the Bay Springs staff want her dismissed with NO grounds for dismissal.”
We are working to set up a live discussion with Dr. Ezi about the matter.
According to WDAM, this is her replacement for the time being, while they wait on the results from the internal review and termination hearing. Dr. Jill Miller from Springer. She will serve as acting superintendent during Dr. Ezi’s administrative leave as the investigation is pending.