Local News

Durham Board Votes To Ask State Education Board To Decide Wagstaff's Fate

Posted December 20, 2002 3:54 a.m. EST

— The Durham County school board voted 4-2 to send the issue of Jackie Wagstaff's run-in with the law to the State Board of Education for review.

Supporters of board member Jackie Wagstaff filled the room Friday as her future took center stage. Although Wagstaff did not have a vote, she certainly shared her opinion.

"I'm not gonna sit here and justify this stupidity because that's what this is -- stupidity," Wagstaff said.

Wagstaff admitted when she was the director of a nonprofit group, she altered city documents to get bus service for a field trip for inner-city kids. The former city councilor pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors stemming from the incident.

At the time, the school board voted to send the matter to the State Board of Education for consideration. However, the state board said the issue was premature since Wagstaff had not been sworn in as a member of the school board.

Last week, Wagstaff was sworn in as a school board member, and board members decided to revisit the issue on Friday.

Wagstaff said the issue is not about right and wrong, but rather black and white.

"Four years from now, I'll be sitting right here and they'll still be trying to fight me, and it will still be race-related," she said.

The State Board of Education will look at the information and decide if there should be an investigation. If that happens, they will direct the Durham board to conduct an independent investigation. After that, there will be a public hearing and a vote on whether or not to keep Wagstaff.