Fired Canton Superintendent Cassandra Williams speaks out for th - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Fired Canton Superintendent Cassandra Williams speaks out for the first time in exclusive interview

CANTON, MS (WLBT) -

Cassandra Williams says her focus was and is the children of the district. She believes political posturing, and an incident with a teacher who is also a member of the Canton Board of Alderman cost her the job.

"I was in the way. I was in the way," said Cassandra Williams.

Williams had been with the Canton Public School District for 9 years, two years as Superintendent. She is proud of the accomplishments of the students. She says state data shows third graders went from 87 percent passing last year to 95.7 percent.

“When we talk about us, the district,  going from an "F" to a "D" there was much more behind that," added Williams. "We actually made a 52 point jump."

Williams says there was much more to be proud of but things began changing for her when changes were made to the school board.

"Changes to the school board once Miss Rainey was elected, once the other school board members were removed, then things changed," Williams told us.

Miss Rainey is Courtney Rainey, who Williams says approached a principal about promoting Daphne Sims, who is a teacher and sits on the Canton Board of Aldermen.

"There was an incident with Miss Sims and a student. Of course, the principal investigated explained Williams. "It was confirmed by the principal that the situation took place and so there was disciplinary action that was administered." 

Williams says that incident was also reported to the Madison County DA's office, The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services and the State Department of Education.

"I was being followed during the day. I would see the same person just in various places if I'm going to schools if I'm going to meetings," said Williams. "I was being followed."

Williams became emotional when asked about the impact of the upheaval in the district on the students.

"I call them my babies, because they are," said Williams.

Her attorney says it is not over.

John Christopher said,

"It's real questionable if three of the board members of the Canton School District even live in either the City of Canton or the Canton Public School District," added Christopher. "Now then,  that brings up the question if they're sitting illegally then is anything they do legal. Well, we're gonna find out."

Williams admits she sets high standards and expects the best from those who work for her.  She says she has never been unprofessional in any way.

Williams and her attorney are now requesting an open post-termination hearing to allow everyone to hear what is going on in the district.

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