The superintendent of the Berkeley County School District in South Carolina was fired suddenly this week by a slate of Moms for Liberty-backed school board members right after they were sworn in.
Many members of the public reacted with audible shock when the board voted Tuesday to terminate Superintendent Deon Jackson, who was just hired in May 2021, with little discussion and without giving a reason for his firing. The board’s chair, Moms for Liberty-endorsed Mac McQuillin, said he would not discuss personnel matters outside an executive session when member David Barrow asked why Jackson was being fired despite being rated proficient on his first yearly performance review.
“This is a political witch hunt,” said Barrow, who, earlier in the meeting, had been replaced as chair by McQuillin. “This is a sham, this a political hit job. I am absolutely embarrassed to be on this board.”
Jackson and several members of the public then boisterously left the meeting, some shouting at the board, which immediately replaced Jackson with Charleston County School District administrator Anthony Dixon, who had previously been the district’s chief academics and innovation officer and the principal of multiple schools. The board also fired the district’s lawyer, who walked out of the meeting to applause from the audience.
Dixon’s firing occurs about an hour into the board’s meeting in the video below:
Moms for Liberty celebrated the board’s actions, posting on Facebook “Berkeley County – 6 new board members clean house first night on the job.”
Later in the meeting, the board also banned the teaching of critical race theory “in any form” and established a committee to determine whether any sexual or pornographic content is being used in the district. Barrow, the recently ousted chair, again dissented.
“I do not want a policy that constricts teachers and makes them vulnerable to being criticized, chastened and disciplined for something they may or may not know they’re supposed to be teaching,” he said.