Suspended Okaloosa Superintendent fights for reinstatement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Suspended Okaloosa County School Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson made her last plea for reinstatement before a Senate Special Master Tuesday morning.

Jackson was suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis in January after special needs children in her district were reportedly abused by teachers. (WJHG/WECP)

Jackson was suspended by Governor Ron DeSantis in January after special needs children in her district were reportedly abused by teachers. The Governor’s attorneys said Jackson was aware of the abuse and did not take action.

“One question is before the Florida Senate. Only one question and that question is should Mary Beth Jackson be removed or reinstated in her role as Superintendent. After all the facts and the evidence have been presented the answer to that question will be very clear. In order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the students of Okaloosa County School District she must be removed from office permanently,” said Nicholas Primrose, attorney for the Governor’s Office.

Jackson’s attorneys argued she took appropriate action in the instances of dealing with the abuse cases and that student performance in her district has significantly improved under her leadership.

The Special Master will provide a recommendation to the Senate to either uphold Jackson’s suspension or reinstate her. The Senate will then make the final decision, but likely before committee meetings start in September.