Okaloosa County superintendent suspended by Governor

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson Friday.

Governor DeSantis says there have been several grand jury reports "that have been very scathing" about her conduct. He says in those grand jury reports, the jury recommend the Department of Education look at ways to hold her accountable.

He says Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran recommended she be suspended.

"Superintendent Jackson has failed in her responsibilities to the parents and students of Okaloosa County, as outlined in the letter and grand jury reports presented to me by Commissioner Corcoran,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Students should feel safe in school and this administration will not tolerate negligence nor incompetence from any government officials, especially those charged with the sacred duty of protecting our children.

"In her place I'm going to appoint Marcus Chambers, who is the Assistant Superintendent," Governor DeSantis said. "I've been able to meet and interview with him, and I think he's going to do a really, really good job."

Marcus Chambers released this statement Friday afternoon:
"This morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis placed me in the position of Superintendent of Schools in Okaloosa County. I am humbled by the confidence the Governor has in me to take on such an important role at such a critical time.

"Our school district is full of outstanding educators and support staff who work tirelessly for the students of Okaloosa County. I am proud to work alongside these dedicated professionals.

"We are blessed to live in a community where education is a priority, and I look forward to working closely with our school staffs, parents, community members, and business partners. In the days ahead, I will be meeting with these stakeholders to seek input, foster relationships, and restore trust in the school district.

"I want to thank Governor DeSantis for the confidence he has placed in me to lead the Okaloosa County School District.

"The future of our students is brightest when we work together to make our schools the best in the nation."