Gwinnett County: Board members voted 4 to 1 in favor of renewing Superintendent Calvin J. Watt’s contract at Tuesday’s special called board meeting.
County officials called for the meeting after concerned parents disagreed over several of the superintendent’s decisions, including the new disciplinary policy. Four months ago, at a parent meeting, parents accused Watts of enabling violent students by prioritizing rehabilitation over punishment for their actions. Many parents expressed concern for their children’s safety due to the policy changes.
Recent changes to the sex education curriculum also sparked controversy. Some parents believe the new comprehensive program is too explicit and doesn’t emphasize abstinence.
Chairperson Dr. Tarece Johnson, who voted to end Dr. Watt’s contract, said he has not succeeded in creating opportunities for marginalized students.
“I fought for Dr. Watts in the beginning,” she said. “While he has made some progress, they still continue to want and need for access and opportunity. I can in good conscious say that consistency is more important than meeting the needs of every child.”
According to Board Member Karen Watkins, many GCPS students supported Dr. Watts and wanted him to stay.
“They like the superintendent; this is what they want. I chose to renew the superintendent’s contract,” she said.
Dr. Watts said he looks forward to continuing working together with the board members.
“Our goal is to make sure we’re leading together alongside for the purpose of achieving success for each and every one of our 183 thousand students,” he said.