Petition launched in support of firing of Parkway High School pr - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Petition launched in support of firing of Parkway High School principal

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Source: Parkway High School/Bossier Parish Schools Source: Parkway High School/Bossier Parish Schools

It's a community divided - those who stand behind Dr. Nichole Bourgeois and those who want her fired.

And the Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent who says he cannot be swayed by public opinion.

Nearly 400 people, so far, have signed the online petition on change.org, which calls Bourgeois a 'disgrace to the south Bossier community and Bossier Parish in general.'

Adding fuel to the fire, School Board President Eddy Ray Presley responded on change.org, calling residents in south Bossier 'morons', because he was named in the petition.

We tried visiting the address listed for Presley on the School Board's website to talk to him in person but got no answer at the door.

In a text message, Presley told KTBS 3 News he wouldn't comment on his response, unless we could provide him with the names of those who started the petition.

The site lists lawsuits by the family of a Parkway student who committed suicide, as well as that of a former nurse, as reasons for the petition.

That student, Haley Danielle Cox, took her life in 2011.

The lawsuit, filed by her mother, claims a fellow student who sent multiple text messages encouraging Cox to kill herself, was allowed to remain at Parkway and was not effectively punished.

The petition also cites Bourgeois's role in the LHSAA's penalization of Parkway during the 2012 playoffs, after the Live Oak High School football coach was handcuff and escorted off the field.

Bossier Sheriff's officials say that was because the coach jerked his arm away from the Student Resource Officer on the scene after several verbal requests were made over the stadium loudspeaker for Live Oak's team to leave the field once they'd exceeded their allotted pre-game warm-up time.

Even a 'Fire Nichole Bourgeois' Facebook page has been created to further gain support for the petition.

But Bossier Parish Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen isn't giving the online uproar any credence.

In a written statement, Machen says, "I will not validate grievances, personal attacks or agendas posted on social media sites about Dr. Bourgeois or any administrator or employee of Bossier Parish Schools by commenting on them. As Superintendent of Bossier Schools, the Board delegates to me the authority to supervise the operations of the school system, including ensuring compliance with all school, state and federal laws. When evaluating any employee's effectiveness and performance, it is incumbent on me to strictly adhere to these specific guidelines and procedures that require validated evidence and documentation to support the assessment. Failure to do so negates and denies the employee's due process. In fulfilling my responsibilities as Superintendent, I cannot be swayed by the court of personal opinion, nor will I set a precedence of subjecting principals or any employee of Bossier Schools to the unscrupulous vindictiveness of those with personal agendas by validating them with comments."

The Fire Nichole Bourgeois Facebook page released this reponse to D.C. Machen:

"If you break that into one thought, he is saying I'm going to do what I'm going to do regardless of the reality of the situation and the strong opinions of those who elected him. Social media is the avenue that is now predominately used to make political figures more transparent. It's not 1968 anymore and you cannot continue to hide behind the boardroom meeting doors and expect for people to not question your decisions. Our motivation here is to protect the children of Bossier Parish and if that means exposing people who simply do not care and have placed themselves in the position where they are required to, than that is the most important thing to be said of all of this. Children placed in these positions often feel like they do not have the power to change the circumstances and parents need to teach their children that they do. Many fights have been won in the arena of publicity, which is what we are doing. We are not defaming anyone or being malicious, they only things discussed on this page are facts which have been published in Federal court and the facts of personal experiences of those who have been bullied and the stories of those who can't be told due to the inadequate attention to this serious problem."

Those who started the Facebook page say they're choosing to remain anonymous because many of them are parents whose children currently attend Parkway and are afraid of retribution from administration.

After learning of the story, the Bossier Parish School Board released the following statement:

"It has come to the attention of the Bossier Parish School Board that an individual serving on the Board recently made remarks on social media sites. The individual's remarks do not represent the views of the Board or the School District. Bossier Parish School Board policy (BBBA) clearly states: 'The members of the Bossier Parish School Board shall have authority only when acting as a Board legally in session. The Board shall not be bound in any way by any action or statement on the part of any individual Board member except when such statement or action is in pursuance of specific instructions from the Board.'As your elected representatives, we value the opinions and input, whether positive or negative, from all people throughout Bossier Parish and strive to act fairly and impartially for the greater good of the students and families we serve."

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