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Angry parents convince superintendent to change mind on Honors classes

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:43 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Dothan's school superintendent attempted to ditch Honors classes and likely would have, had it not been for relentless parents.

If Doctor Phyllis Edwards had followed through with those plans, she would have broken promises made in 2018. That's when Edwards, a new hire, convinced the school board to close high achieving magnet schools, consolidate the city's two high schools, and create a single quasi-junior high school—Dothan Preparatory Academy.

“(Honors) was a promise, yes” said Scott Faulk, principal of Dothan Prep, where those classes would have been cut for 7th and 8th graders.

After outcries from enraged parents Edwards, on Monday, changed her mind and announced there will be honor classes, though how many is not clear. That announcement alone, though, doesn't satisfy disgruntled parents.

“(It) doesn’t solve the question why they were taken off the table to begin with,” Billy McCarthy told WTVY. He has four sons who either attend or have attended public schools in Dothan.

McCarthy and others wonder why Edwards kept her plans to scrap DPA Honors classes secret. Parents learned of those plans from Wiregrasslive, a Facebook blog.

Lack of communication may be a problem beyond Edwards and parents. There may also be internal issues.

A day after she announced that Honors classes would remain Scott Faulk, Dothan Prep's principal, said he had not been made aware of that announcement, though it had been posted to his school's website.

Edwards has also been recently criticized about her handling of a disagreement with band boosters. Dothan High School’s principal, with Edwards approval, sought to have boosters arrested on allegations they stole almost $100,000 worth of equipment from the school, including two large concession trailers.

After conducting an investigation, Dothan police and the Houston County District Attorney's Office determined that equipment is likely owned by boosters, so no crime has been committed.

Edwards promised to file a lawsuit against the boosters.

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