Volusia School Board rejects arming teachers, ousts superintendent

The Volusia County School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously against arming teachers. Board members have also decided to end the superintendent’s contract early.

After the 3-2 vote to oust Superintendent James Russell, Russell spoke to the crowd about his accomplishments on the job. He had a lot of supporters in the room, who stood and clapped, as he ended his speech.

Some school board members argued Russell should keep his job. Letting him go means the district will have to pay around $85,000 in severance.

Those who wanted him gone say he hasn’t been communicating with the board. Chairman Carl Persis says he wasn’t happy with Russell’s performance.

The board will choose an interim superintendent as they search for someone to permanently fill the role. Persis says he hopes to have a new superintendent in place by January.

The board also voted against arming its teachers. The state legislature recently passed a law allow certain teachers to carry in the classroom with training. Volusia County will stick to the Guardian Program it already has in place.