Joy Davis, former assistant superintendent of Buford City Schools, has been selected as interim superintendent following the resignation of former Superintendent Geye Hamby last week.
Davis was appointed immediately after an executive session at the school board’s meeting Monday, according to a letter the Buford City Schools Board of Education sent to parents, students and staff. Davis was assistant superintendent of city schools and principal of Buford Academy prior to her retirement, according to the letter.
The letter says that plans for a new superintendent search are being developed and will be shared in upcoming weeks.
Hamby, the previous superintendent, resigned on Aug. 24 after being accused of using racial slurs in audio recordings that went public last week. The school board had placed Hamby on administrative leave on Aug. 22.
“My sincere apologies for any actions that may have created adversity for this community and the Buford School District,” Hamby wrote in his resignation letter. “Thank you for many years of tremendous support and leadership.”
The audio recordings went public as part of a discrimination lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The plaintiff in the racial discrimination lawsuit, a former school system employee, says she was being retaliated against for raising concerns on behalf of the black community. She was terminated in June 2017.
In the recordings, a person alleged to be Hamby says he is frustrated with African-American workers at a construction site and in one instance says he would “shoot that (expletive) if they let me.” The individual alleged to be Hamby also says in the recording, “Don’t send us a deadbeat (n-word) from a temp service ... Well, (expletive) we can find you some kids around here that want a damn job ... They can do more than the damn deadbeat (n-word).”
In their letter, the school board denounced what was said in the recordings.
“As the Buford City Schools Board of Education, we would like to apologize for the actions of our former superintendent. His language in no way reflects the sentiments of the Board of Education or School District,” the letter says. “We recognize the hurt, anger and frustration the events of last week caused our students, parents and community. Racism is not condoned or acceptable in any manner.”
The board has established an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to receive input from the community. According to the letter, the board hopes to improve the relationships between cultural groups at the schools.
“Clearly, one of the strengths of our system and community is our diversity. Plans to garner community input and engagement will be forthcoming,” the letter states.
Buford residents had been critical of the school board’s response at the board’s Monday meeting.