Superintendent Stan Fields still is not discussing what prompted him to suspend a co-principal of the Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, but the Sept. 25 Proviso Township Board of Education meeting may provide some answers.
At that meeting, board members will consider the sanctions put in place against PMSA Co-Principal Richard Bryant on Sept. 1. According to board President Chris Welch, the board has the authority to fully reinstate Bryant or terminate his employment.
“Nothing can happen or he can be terminated,” Welch said. “The range is very broad.”
Fields said he will seek the board’s approval to hire a single principal for the academy and do away with the co-principal system. Bryant’s co-principal, Melvin Berry, has assumed administrative responsibility at the academy since Bryant’s suspension.
Bryant was placed on paid administrative leave one day after Forest Park police received a report that $2,603.65 in student registration fees was missing. According to the police report, Angela Jackson, another employee in the main office, took the money from the school’s safe to give to Bryant. Jackson told police she handed the money to Bryant with the understanding it would be turned over to Proviso East High School, according to the report.
The district’s business manager told police that Bryant “denies ever receiving the money,” according to the report.
Bryant did not return phone calls seeking comment.
No other district employees have been sanctioned for allegedly mishandling the registration fees, Fields said.
“At this time I do not expect that (others might be implicated),” Fields said .
Carl Williams, president of the PMSA Parent-Teacher-Student Association said he will encourage parents to attend the Sept. 25 meeting. The public will be able to comment on Bryant’s suspension prior to the board taking action.
Williams said he may not be able to attend the meeting and said it would be difficult for him to form an opinion on the issue without all the facts.
“I have to believe and trust that the people in charge will work these things out,” Williams said.
Bryant met with district administrators last week to discuss the suspension, Fields said, but he would not comment on the nature of the talks. The meeting is part of the “due process” afforded to any sanctioned employee, Fields said.
“It’s only an opportunity for an individual accused to face their accuser,” Fields said.
Welch said he is not aware of any pending agreements between administrators and Bryant to either reinstate the principal or terminate his employment.
Also on Sept. 25, the Proviso Township Board of Education will consider the current fiscal year’s operating budget and a proposal from Fields to evaluate the quality of the curriculum in the district.