Two Meetings This Month Will Focus on Criticism of Schools Superintendent Owen Roberts

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For nearly two months, the Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent has faced scrutiny after he was accused of plagiarism in his self-published book — accusations first brought to light in a Gainesville Sun story.

Owen Roberts’ book, “A Framework for Improving School Systems in the 21st Century,” is alleged to contain paragraphs copied verbatim from other scholarly works and, in some cases, a failure to cite an author’s original work. He apologized during a May 3 school board meeting.

School board member April Griffin has pushed for Dr. Roberts’ resignation. She said she thinks the superintendent’s actions have damaged the district’s reputation.

“I honestly don’t believe that he will be able to repair the damage that has been done,” Griffin said.

The NAACP will hold a meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at Dayspring Missionary Baptist Church, 1945 NE 8th Ave., to discuss the superintendent and his potential resignation. NAACP members in Alachua County say they are outraged on Roberts’ behalf and believe the issue is about race — not Roberts’ citation mistakes.

“We as a community have to make our voices heard. No one wants to talk about race,” said Evelyn Foxx, president of Alachua County Branch of the NAACP.

On June 27, the school board will hold at 6 p.m. a special meeting to discuss the superintendent’s contract. That meeting will take place at Kirby Smith Center, 620 E. University Ave.

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