Spotsylvania County superintendent fired after contentious school board meeting

An area superintendent is out of a job after a contentious Spotsylvania County Public School Board meeting Monday night shifted the board's majority and put a member who supports burning books in charge.

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"I was completely embarrassed to say that I live in this county. The behavior was appalling," says parent Lea Dodge.

The meeting started with a vote to name Livingston district member Kirk Twigg as the new chair.

Twigg has previously supported banning and even burning some sexually explicit books from school libraries when the issue was raised in November. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Spotsylvania County rescinds vote to remove sexually explicit books from school libraries

Twigg's first action as chair was calling for an unscheduled closed-door session where, in a 4 to 3 vote, Superintendent Scott Baker was fired even though he had already signed an agreement to leave by the end of the year.

Many are concerned the action was done illegally. According to Virginia's Open Meetings Law, a public board must approve a motion to go into a closed session and say what it will be about. 

Parents and community members that FOX 5 spoke with say they are disgusted by the behavior of the Spotsylvania school board members.

"To plan to fire somebody without cause because you just don’t like them is ludicrous," says Dodge. "It’s selfish and politically aimed behavior, and it’s not acceptable at a school board meeting."

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Teachers even called out sick on Tuesday because of what took place at Monday night's meeting.

"You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s a disgrace," an anonymous teacher told FOX 5.

While some school board members are on Twigg's side, others had some fiery comments to make.

"He has seniority here, and he hasn’t had the spot, so that’s why I nominated him," says school board member Lisa Phelps.

"I do not believe Mr. Twigg has the temperament nor the skill to be chairman," school board chair Dawn Shelley said. "He has spoken about confidential HR matters in open session. He is constantly using his AOL account to send and read e-mails…He wants to burn books. I am still the chairman…You are out of order."


FOX 5 reached out to Twigg, but has not heard back. At this time, no interim superintendent has been announced.