Barrett sues fellow members of school board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2003

[12/10/03]Chad Barrett is suing his colleagues on the board of the Vicksburg Warren School District, appealing their unanimous vote upholding a discipline case involving his child.

Barrett, who represents District 1 on the board, filed the notice of appeal Monday in Warren County Circuit Court.

The one-page notice by attorney Mark Prewitt identifies Barrett standing in as “parent and next friend of T.B.” Minors can’t file lawsuits on their own. It gives no description of the punishment and does not specify a basis for seeking a court order to reverse the school board’s vote.

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After a closed meeting Thursday, the school board announced its unanimous vote to uphold a recommendation for expulsion made by the district’s disciplinary committee.

Board members did not identify the student or provide any information about what led to the expulsion.

Barrett, a pharmacist serving his first six-year term on the public school governing board, recused himself from the vote. His son, Tyler, started the school year as a ninth-grader at Warren Central High School.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace confirmed last week he had been notified of a narcotics case at the school and said it had been referred to state investigators. Gwen Smith, parent of another student, said last week her son had been expelled until next fall for buying a pill from other students, which he took and became ill. She has not protested the decision.

Citing the involvement of juveniles and that the investigation is continuing, school and law enforcement officials have had no comment on the investigation or the case.

Prewitt and Barrett did not return calls.

Kay Aasand, District 5 trustee and board president, had no comment as did Jan Daigre, District 4 trustee and board secretary.

Superintendent James Price also refused to comment.

Deputy Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree said typically, when a case comes before the court, the senior judge’s court administrator randomly assigns it to one of the two circuit judges, Frank Vollor or Isadore Patrick. Vollor is the senior judge.

The case will then be put on the judge’s docket to set a hearing date.

Barrett was elected in 1998. His term expires at the end of 2004.