Breaking News
More () »

County leaders vote to not consider recall petitions for several board members of Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System

Six recall petitions were filed for three board of education members: Vice President Safornia Johnson-Pierce, Treasurer Estelita Rankin and Trustee Peggy Selmon.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Three district board of education members from the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System are no longer facing recall petitions, after a hearing earlier today at the Muskegon County Courthouse. 

This hearing comes after months of problems reported in the district, with staffing shortages and curriculum issues, as well as lapses in the district's special education program

Two Muskegon Heights residents each filed three petitions for recall for the same three board of education members: Vice President Safornia Johnson-Pierce, Treasurer Estelita Rankin and Trustee Peggy Selmon.

Muskegon County Judge Gregory Pittman, County Treasurer Tony Moulatsiotis and County Clerk Nancy Waters voted unanimously to not consider the petitions. 

"It was kind of shocking, disturbing, but it was kind of enlightening too," Corey Brown says.

He filed half of the petitions. The county was looking for clear and factual language in the petitions to consider a recall. 

While the hearing didn't go like Brown had hoped, he says he's not discouraged.

"It was more than enlightening and now I know how to do the correct language. Now I know what they're looking for. And now I know what I'm up against," he says.

As a district alum and community activist, he says it's important to him to fight for the kids in what he calls a corrupt situation.

"It just is really sad that the kids is in the middle of these games. Like it's different when you play with grown folks, but when you're playing with kids and innocent, they have nothing to do, half of them have nowhere to go anyway," Brown says. "So for eight hours, the school is a safe haven. And you're taking that away you making that uncomfortable?"

Resident Joe Moore Jr.'s kids graduated from the district, and he filed the other half of the petitions. 

Each petition from the two had its own reasoning, like an alleged conspiracy to oust academy board members, failure to reduce the district's debt, misrepresentation of money spent and endangering the health and safety of students and staff.

Both Moore and Brown say now is the time to push for progress in the district.

"When you hear at board meetings that they don't have special ed teachers and counselors and things like that, you get concerned," Moore says. "We mean business in this district, and we want the education in Muskegon Heights to go forward."

13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to the district board of education for a comment on what happened today and have yet to receive a response.

The academy board has called a special meeting for this upcoming Monday at 6 p.m. at the high school. 

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out