Update: School Board Chairman Responds To Clayton High Parent Advisory Council Letter

Bennett Jones

Update 7:16PM – In an email to JoCoReport.com, School Board Chairman Mike Wooten says he and Board Member Ronald Johnson met separately with the PAC members. Other board members have responded to today’s emails.  Wooten says there is very little they can share due to personnel confidentiality laws.  The PAC letter requests a formal meeting with the school board.  No meeting date has reportedly been scheduled.

CLAYTON – Today (Monday), members of the Clayton High School Parent Advisory Council (PAC) sent another letter to the Johnston County Board of Education demanding a meeting.  Advisory council members say their first letter from Aug. 18th requesting a meeting with school board members has gone unanswered.  Today, the second letter demands a meeting with school board members to discuss the removal of Bennett Jones as Clayton High School principal.

“The public outcry in support of Dr. Bennett Jones continues to grow and has grown even more since out August 18th letter,” the Parent Advisory Council said in the letter. “This has become a significant public safety issue. You have an entire community that is growing increasingly upset at the treatment of their beloved principal. Each day this continues to bring more “flash points” and raw emotions with serious potential for backlash against teachers, students and administration.”

The organization wants Dr. Jones to be given “his day in court” and the meeting be open to the public to ensure transparency. They also want the completion of an investigation into allegations of grade fixing completed no later than September 4, 2019.

The letter also stated,  “In light of recent evidence, how can Dr. Renfrow still have any role in this matter?”

The group wants Dr. Jones reinstated immediately to regain the public’s trust.

In the Parent Advisory Council’s first letter on August 18th, they demanded a meeting stating, “We have some VERY SERIOUS concerns about the handling of the reassignment of our principle (sic) Dr. Jones… We have walked step by step with Dr. Jones for several years and have witnessed his character, values and commitment to our students along with his passion, love and respect for the students and community,” the letter states.

The school board has called a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 27th at 6:00PM to discuss a personnel matter. It is unknown if this may involve the Clayton High situation.  PAC members say they would like to meet with the school board prior to the meeting but have thus far not heard from any school official addressing their concerns expressed in both letters.

Many parents of Clayton High students support the PAC’s position. One concerned parent emailed JoCoReport today saying, “How is it that Dr. Jones hasn’t been given the opportunity to appeal to the board directly and face any accusations?   Also, in your article last week you point out that Dr. Jones has a grievance with Dr. Renfrow…  How is it possible the Dr. Renfrow has any oversight into any of this matter?  The accusations against Dr. Renfrow are more specific and serious than anything against Dr. Jones yet he is still in a position of power over Dr. Jones and our students.  It now appears they are digging for any information that will allow them to justify moving our principal so any ‘new information will now be viewed with increasing skepticism from the general public’ after months of an investigation that has found nothing.”