Margaret Samuels, chairperson of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, resigned Tuesday amid a recall effort against her, sparking varying reactions from the community and fellow board members.
Her resignation came after some CHCCS parents organized to initiate a recall election against Samuels and fellow board members James Barrett and Pat Heinrich.
Through their website, boardrecall.com, the parents allege the three board members violated board policies before and after a 4-3 board vote last September to transform Glenwood Elementary into a Mandarin dual-language magnet school.
“The charges leveled at me are baseless and without foundation,” Samuels said in her letter of resignation. “However, I have no desire to be a part of anything that takes the focus away from our students. When the behavior of adults is the leading story in any school district — we know we have a problem.”
The CHCCS parents behind the recall movement allege Samuels failed in her duty as chairperson to hold Heinrich and Barrett accountable.
“Unfortunately, Heinrich and Barrett have not publicly admitted to any policy violations nor did Samuels hold her fellow board members accountable for their actions as the board chair,” CHC Board Recall said in a statement Tuesday. “The recall was only initiated after numerous efforts by other board members and citizens failed to fully hold Heinrich and Barrett accountable.”
Barrett said Samuels’ resignation was not related to the alleged violations, but rather the motives and actions of those bringing allegations forward.
“I don’t think it’s the accusations itself, it’s the ugliness exposed and the extent people were willing to go to get their way on a vote that was decided differently than they wanted,” Barrett said.
Barrett said he does not believe he violated board policy and was not restricting information to supporters of the Mandarin dual-language program.