The School for Arts Infused Learning has responded to the State Attorney General’s Office regarding accusations by parents that the charter school violated the Open Meetings Act.
In the letter, drafted by law firm McGuire Woods of Atlanta, the letter states the school “complied with its duties under the law” in the accusations that it failed to inform the public of recommendations and actions by the governing board when the SAIL board met in executive session. The letter uses minutes from State Board of Education meetings as an example of how regular minutes were recorded for the September 20th regular meeting and executive session.
The outcry from parents began after the sudden firing of School Superintendent Kristy Zgol. The response letter from the SAIL board says, “the Board acted in a manner that it reasonably believes was necessary to protect the privacy of the employee being terminated,” as Zgol was present at the public meeting and had not yet been informed of her firing.
Upset parents also complained to the state level that SAIL violated the nature of public meetings by holding a September 21st Emergency Board Meeting via teleconference. The SAIL board contends, that since the school operates with “state-wide jurisdiction” allowing students from any county within Georgia, that it is within its right with the Charter School Commission to hold meetings via tele-conference. The letter also says, even if it did not qualify as a state-wide agency, “the Open Meetings Act allows for any public agency to conduct teleconference meetings under circumstances necessitated by emergency conditions involving public safety or the preservation of property or public services…”
During that September 21st Emergency teleconference meeting, the SAIL board took action by voting to remove board chair Dr. Mark Boyd. The letter listed 4 reasons as to why it felt it necessary to remove Dr. Boyd from SAIL, including refusing to deliver reprimands and directives to SAIL’s superintendent Kristy Zgol and working against the Board by encouraging staff and others to take action against the Governing Board to include discussing confidential information.
The most pointed section of the letter to the Attorney General’s Office is about the Open Records complaint itself. The attorney for SAIL says, the continuous and repeated requests for documents during a 35 minute window on October 23rd by a vocal minority of parents who disagree with SAIL’s actions rises to the level of “harassment.”
NewsChannel 6 is following the developing story, you can read the letter in its entirety here.