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Metro School Board goes behind closed doors without director

shawn joseph leaving meeting.jpg
Posted at 1:03 PM, Mar 22, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Amid continuing questions about the future of Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph, the Metro School Board abruptly went into executive session Friday afternoon to meet with Metro lawyers.

Joseph was out of the room at the time, and he was asked to leave when he tried to enter the room.

The sudden move came during a retreat where the school board had been meeting to discuss the budget for the next school year. Board members were just returning from a brief lunch break.

School board member Anna Shepherd suddenly made the motion to go into executive session, seemingly surprising Chair Sharon Gentry.

Metro lawyer Corey Harkey cautioned the board that they could ask her questions about pending or potential litigation, but could not deliberate.

NewsChannel 5 was asked to leave the conference room, as were MNPS staff and spectators.

The 27-minute session ended with no announcement about the reason for the closed-door meeting.

Board members returned to a discussion about how to lobby Mayor David Briley and the Metro Council for more money for Metro Schools.

Jill Speering, who is among three board members who have called for Joseph to be terminated, argued that she believes it will be difficult to fight for more tax money "with this director in place."

"We must get our house in order or we are not going to get another penny," Speering said.

Stay tuned to NewsChannel 5 for continuing developments.

NC5 Investigates: Metro Schools