Parent: Official should stay mum about others’ alleged drinking

Published 8:19 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Pascagoula School District has drawn complaints over the way the superintendent publicly responded to reports that staff members consumed alcohol while traveling to a convention.

The complaints were aired Monday before Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich and the district’s school board.

“Mr. Rodolfich should have given the general statement, ‘No comment’ instead of embarrassing the district,” said Bill Stewart, who said he is a parent of a middle school student and husband of a Trent Lott Middle School teacher.

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Rodolfich recently told reporters, including those at The Mississippi Press, that the alleged drinking involved unknown number of middle school teachers and other employees who were on a chartered bus traveling in November to conference in Houston.

Rodolfich has said that not all those aboard the bus consumed alcohol. He has not named specific teachers or employees, nor has he said what kind of punishment, if any, could be handed down after the school district completes its investigation.

Neither board members nor Rodolfich responded specifically to the accusations from any of the men.

Another person addressing the board, Bill Pope, said the media coverage has been a “source of embarrassment to the people of Pascagoula” and to the students.

Rodolfich said last week that the school district is still gathering information and investigating what state laws or district policies, if any, were broken.

Stewart said there were no students on the bus and that alcohol is often served at conferences, which is not seen as a problem.

“People who attend these (conferences) are not questioned by the district,” Stewart said.