BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) – The superintendent of Marlboro County Schools has been placed on leave after allowing a fraternity that he is a member of to operate a facility on school property.
The decision about Dr. Gregory McCord was announced Tuesday night during a special called meeting.
This comes after a September 13 Marlboro County Board of Education meeting in which Dr. McCord admitted that he allowed Omega Psi Phi to operate on the property of Bennettsville Intermediate School (BIS) without first conferring with the Marlboro County Board of Education. It was revealed that the district was paying the utilities for this building that sat behind the actual school building.
At the September 13 meeting, Gregory Cain, a member of the fraternity said that the group wanted to partner with the school district to use the facility as a place for youth mentorship, not as a fraternity house. He made a presentation to the board which was the result of a community concern about the facility. Cain said at that time that he would like to continue what he referred to as a “partnership” with the district. He also offered to have the fraternity reimburse the district to offset the cost of utilities.
When board member Michael Coachman asked Cain on September 13 who had authorized the fraternity to operate at this facility, Dr. McCord spoke up. Before Dr. McCord announced that he had provided authorization, he was asked by Coachman to recuse himself from the discussion, but Dr. McCord declined. Dr. McCord also said that two other members of the board were also members of the same fraternity. One of them recused himself during the September 13 meeting.
After a discussion, the board voted 5-0 on September 13 to instruct the fraternity to remove the building from the property.
Dr. McCord told WBTW News after that meeting that if he could do it all over again, he “most definitely” would have handled the Omega Psi Phi situation differently and said he did not intend to go around the school board. He said part of his job as superintendent is to build partnerships in the community and he felt he was doing this by allowing for a space that could help children.
When asked for a comment or statement regarding being placed on leave Tuesday night, Dr. McCord sent this statement to WBTW News:
No comment right now other than to say that all is well. We will get beyond this together. Today is still “the best day of my life!” When you do right, you sleep tight. (V.Ford)Dr. Gregory McCord, Marlboro County School District Superintendent
WBTW News has reached out to board chair Larry McNeil for more information about Dr. McCord’s status. McNeil said he will have a statement in the morning.
Unlike most Marlboro County School District meetings, Tuesday’s special meeting was not streamed on the Marlboro County School District Facebook page. WBTW has asked why that was the case.