After the Lafayette Parish School Board stunned many in attendance at its special meeting on Monday, Nov. 15, voting to shutter N.P. Moss Middle and turn it into the new Thibodaux Career and Technical High School, State Rep. Rickey Hardy complained to both the state attorney general and DA Mike Harson that he believed the board violated the state’s open meetings law. Harson apparently agrees there is sufficient reason to question the legality of the votes and is suggesting the board take the matters up again — which it plans to do Dec. 15.

“Their intentions were not honorable,” Hardy says. “They tried to mislead the public that they were purchasing the Kmart building, because [N.P. Moss] was not on the agenda.”

Kmart, a $50 million proposition, seemed off the table before the board even convened its special meeting late into the night on Nov. 15. But before it could instead vote to move Thib Tech into N.P. Moss, the board had to rescind a March vote in which it had agreed to keep it as a middle school. Hardy’s contention was that the board should have given 24 hours of notice before adding an item to the agenda or vote unanimously to add it. Neither action, either of which would have satisfied state open meetings law, took place.

Hardy and several others asked the board at the Nov. 15 meeting to put off the vote for at least a couple of days to give the community time to have a say in the matter. But its mind appeared to have been made up — before it gathered that Monday night.

Read more on the controversial vote to close the middle school and convert it into the career and technical school here and the ill-conceived Kmart plan here.

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