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Brief: Board of Education Squabble Prompts Apologies, Call for Resignations

May 22, 2007 — An altercation between two V.I. Board of Education members has spurred ongoing discussion in the community, along with a series of statements and apologies issued by the organization's chairwoman.
In the latest twist in the saga, one public official has called for greater action, asking the board members to resign their posts.
In a news release issued earlier this week, Sen. Liston Davis requested that Terrence D. Joseph and Shawn Gibson, both involved in an altercation at a meeting held earlier this month, resign because of their "recent unsavory, unacceptable and egregiously negative" conduct.
"While these two members remain on the Board of Education, every action the entity takes will be viewed with suspicion," Davis said in the news release. "The public will be second guessing the board’s every decision, wondering whether a certain vote was taken by members with fear of retribution from Gibson or Joseph in mind, since these two individuals have displayed a penchant for violent behavior when things don’t go their way."
According to reports published recently in the V.I. Daily News, the altercation between Joseph and Gibson occurred at one of the board's committee meetings earlier this month. Police were called to the meeting after Joseph reported that he had been assaulted by a coworker.
While no injuries were sustained during the incident, the conduct of both individuals has since been reviewed by a committee set up by the board. Repeated attempts to contact Board of Education chairwoman Debra Smith-Watlington by telephone for comment on the matter or to obtain a copy of the report have not been successful.

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