Politics shake up Cherokee County schools | www.myajc.com

15
Jul

Politics shake up Cherokee County schools | www.myajc.com

A political fight that has been simmering in Cherokee County for at least three years started bubbling over last month and captured the public’s attention with bizarre allegations and counter charges over an alleged attempt at a hit and run.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which has sanctioned several other metro Atlanta districts, has been called in to investigate the dispute, potentially putting the high-performing school system’s accreditation at risk.

Observers say the friction has been growing since January when Kelly Marlow was sworn in on the school board. The Republican with Tea Party support has been publicly calling out Superintendent Frank Petruzielo, accusing him of withholding financial information.

Last month, Marlow announced that she was calling on SACS to investigate. Then, after a long and contentious meeting on June 13, a night punctuated by power outages as a tornado tore through the community, things took an extreme turn.

Marlow and two associates had left the meeting and were walking across Main Street in downtown Canton when, they later claimed, Petruzielo’s car charged them, narrowly missing them.

The police obtained a security video from a nearby tavern and concluded that the trio had lied, and charged them with giving false statements to police.

Parents such as Christy Peacock have not followed the growing spat too closely, but are paying attention now that it’s regularly making headlines and TV newscasts. Peacock has one daughter in elementary school and another who will start kindergarten in the fall and is baffled by the calls for investigation. “It seems like a great school system. I’ve never heard any complaints about it,” Peacock said. She voiced a concern now familiar to parents in Atlanta and Clayton and DeKalb counties: “I don’t want us to lose accreditation.”

via Politics shake up Cherokee County schools | www.myajc.com.

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