Last night the Wake County School Board placed Del Burns on administrative leave until the effective date of his resignation as superintendent of the Wake County Schools, June 30th. While I respect Mr. Burns’ contributions to Wake County Schools, I cannot agree with his decision to refuse to sign a statement to carry out board policy, as reported on last night’s TV news. Burns’ refusal is surprising to many. It also begs the question: If Burns doesn’t think he was hired to carry out school board policy, what then, does he consider his duties to be? Burns’ responsibilities are clearly spelled out in the statutes and his current employment contract. Those provisions also underscore, without question, that the superintendent serves the board and is an employee of the school board.
Three weeks ago Burns said he couldn’t agree with the direction of the board and submitted his resignation. Since then, his intemperate remarks have left no doubt that he couldn’t and wouldn’t carry out his responsibilities. The school board had no choice but to remove Mr. Burns. It was the right thing to do.