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Lawrence school board questions possible nepotism in hiring

By Nancy Glasscock 340-2443

MOULTON — For three consecutive school board meetings, Rebecca Nichols' name has been on the agenda for approval as a clerical aide at East Lawrence High School.

The Lawrence County Board of Education approved Nichols at a meeting Monday after a motion to hire her failed at the past two board meetings.

District 2 board member Gary Bradford, who cast the only vote against hiring Nichols on Monday, said he didn't think the board should approve Nichols as an employee at East Lawrence because Nichols' husband is the school's principal.

District 3 board member Dr. Beth Vinson said the school board isn't breaking any nepotism laws by hiring Nichols.

"It isn't nepotism," she said. "I think what we're talking about is, sometime in the future, do we want to have a direct supervision policy?"

Vinson said a policy could be written to prohibit future employees from working under the direct supervision of someone in their immediate families.

Bradford also cast the only vote against hiring Chad Shelton as a part-time maintenance worker. Bradford said at an August school board meeting he opposed hiring Shelton because Shelton has relatives who also work in the Maintenance Department.

Board members agreed to discuss possible changes in the system's hiring practices at another meeting.

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