Judge Finds Parent Not Guilty Of Trespassing At School
Posted March 23, 2005 4:17 a.m. EST
DURHAM, N.C. — A judge found a parent not guilty of trespassing at her son's school and she and a Durham school board member were accused of disrupting class.
Minnie Brown was with school board member Jackie Wagstaff a few months ago when both women were tossed out of Shepard Middle School.
On Wednesday, principal Julia Fairley testified that Brown and Wagstaff visited the school in January. She admitted both women followed proper procedure by checking into the office and signing in and the time.
However, Fairley said, both women broke the rules when they were talking with students, parents and teachers during school hours and "interrogating" them.
Brown insisted she broke no rules.
"I was in no form or fashion being disruptive at the school day," she said.
Wagstaff also believed she did not do anything wrong that day.
"She caught me off-guard and I looked at her and said I could speak to anyone I wanted to," she said.
Brown and Wagstaff have been long-time critics of Fairley and have tried to get her ousted as school principal. Both women claim that Fairley kicking them off of the school campus was retialiation for their efforts to try to get Fairley fired.
While the judge said Brown could have handled things better, he found she had broken no law.
Even though Brown was cleared of trespassing charges, she must get permission from the school principal if she wants to visit the school. Wagstaff was not charged in the case, although she, too, is banned from the school and needs to get permission from the principal before going on the property.