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Crenshaw Sues White BOE Members: Claims Racism
web posted September 13, 2012
EDGEFIELD – Former Edgefield County School
Superintendent Mary Rice-Crenshaw has filed a lawsuit against the
School District and only the white board members for what she claims
was a racist conspiracy to take over the school board for the sole
purpose of firing her because she is black. In an unusual but bold
move, the District and BOE Chairman Brad Covar fired back when asked
about the suit.
In response to the lawsuit, current Superintendent of Education Greg W.
Anderson said in a prepared statement, "I am surprised that Dr.
Crenshaw would do such a thing. The school board fully complied with
her contract and has not discriminated against her in any way."
Dr. Crenshaw was released from her contract by a majority vote of the
board in October of 2011. Because she was being released "without
cause", the school district continued to pay her for the remainder of
the school year in accordance with the terms and conditions of her
Anderson commented, "It is interesting that Dr. Crenshaw waited until
she received all of her salary that was due to her under the provisions
of her contract before she instituted this lawsuit."
In the 18-page filing Crenshaw claims that she was hired by a black
majority on the school board and that now Chairman Brad Covar then
conspired to entice whites to run and get elected to the School Board
for the sole purpose of firing her because she was black. The two seats
overtaken in the 2010 election was determined by voters in districts
that were drawn to promote a minority candidate winning.
The suit also states that Covar joined a "hate group" of three
individuals who put up a website called FireDrCrenshaw.com seeking her
Oddly enough, Crenshaw is also suing the three owners of the site, but
did not include Covar. If he "joined" the group, he would have been
named in that lawsuit but wasn't.
School Board Chairman Brad Covar added, "This is unbelievable. The
school board tried to treat Dr. Crenshaw with respect and we have fully
complied with the terms of her contract. Out of respect for her, the
board chose to release her without cause so that we would not have to
get into what we believed to be her shortcomings. I hope the public can
understand why I am personally upset because we went out of our way to
treat Dr. Crenshaw with respect and she in turn has made many
allegations which are totally false. We are left with no choice now but
to state these shortcomings publicly. I can assure you that we will not
have a shortage of witnesses". Covar further noted that the names of
some of the board members are incorrect in the lawsuit.
Mr. Anderson concluded "I want to reassure the public that we will not
lose our focus because of this lawsuit. We are off to the best start of
school opening in many years. We have had record numbers to attend open
house, PTO meetings and Grandparent's Day. We will not lose our
momentum or the positive energy that has been generated by our
employees. The education of every child in our district is our primary
The suit seeks over a quarter million dollars in actual damages and
additional damages due to the racism Crenshaw claims was perpetrated
against her. She is represented by attorney Donald Gist from Columbia.
The case number is 2012-CP-1900235
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Edgefield Daily and/or parent company ECL and
cannot be reproduced,
redistributed without expressed written permission.
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