• 66°

Criticism of local schools reopening targets Flaggs, Shealy

The plan to reopen schools in the coming weeks has been a heavily debated topic on many levels — at the state and federal level — but a recent criticism of local plans has forced a response from Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr.

Thursday, Flaggs, who has no authority over the Vicksburg-Warren School District or its plans to reopen, responded to criticism on social media that he was mentioned in.

The post, which was placed on social media by a Tillman Whitley on Thursday, said “Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and Superintendent Chad Shealy can stop these schools from opening in August. So, if your child dies from COVID-19, or brings the virus home to you, then you know exactly where to place the blame.”

The post is a public post viewable on Whitley’s Facebook page, along with other comments tremendously critical of plans to reopen schools.

An earlier post by Whitley said, “Ask Mayor Flaggs to step in and stop schools from opening in August!!!”

The Vicksburg-Warren School District has announced schools will resume Aug. 7, with parents having the option for their children to return to in-person classes or take part in distance learning. The Vicksburg-Warren School District’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the district’s reopening plans in June and approved individual school plans at a meeting July 14.

“I have had no input on the reopening of the Vicksburg-Warren School District, nor have I had any conversation with Superintendent Shealy on this subject,” Flaggs said in a statement released from his office Thursday afternoon. “Our school district does not come under the authority of city government — I cannot and do not speak for our elected school board members about this decision or any other decision, and I take issue with someone stating that my decisions will cause the death of a child. As mayor, I’ve done everything in my ability to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Vicksburg to this point and will continue to do so going forward.”

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

email author More by Tim