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Petitioners: Meeting to refire Marple does not address issues

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A day after the West Virginia Board of Education re-fired superintendent Jorea Marple, petitioners alleging board members violated open proceedings principles said the new meeting did nothing to resolve issues in the petition.

Mountain State Justice filed the emergency petition for writ of mandamus Nov. 21 on behalf of James and Michelle Hicks, parents of a elementary school-aged student with special needs.

The petition alleges the board's decision will affect the quality of education for their child and asserted Marple's firing was "predetermined in back-room, secret meetings among certain board members."

In their motion to file supplemental brief in support of their emergency petition for writ of mandamus, petitioners called the meeting a "ceremonial and perfunctory ratification of the previous illegal termination."

The motion cited the agenda, which had the oath of office following the reconsideration of termination.

"It is obvious to all who attended the meeting on Nov. 29, that the decision to terminate the superintendent had already been made," the motion states. "By placing items on the agenda that necessarily presupposed the termination of the superintendent, the remedial measures of the board amounted to nothing more than a dog and pony show intended to ceremonially ratify its violation from the Nov. 15 meeting."

The motion also took issue with the board's official statement.

"In its official statement, the board cites the reason for the termination of the superintendent is student achievement and graduation rates in West Virginia," the motion states. "However, the board continued, ‘we are not saying that superintendent Marple is any more responsible than governors, legislators, educators or board members for these shortcomings.' The stated reason for the superintendent's termination is clearly pretext for some other illegitimate reason."