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Hickman-Mills shakes up board in heated meeting

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A standing-room only applauded as the Hickman-Mills school board demoted their board president.

Breman Anderson Jr. vociferously fought the agenda change, saying it wasn't properly posted under Missouri's Sunshine Law.

But those efforts were defeated just like his efforts to remain as board president.

The board meeting began with an hour-long closed session. When board members returned to public view, tempers flared and some board members shouted at each other.

Eric Lowe led the charge to oust Anderson, and Lowe was named to replace his rival.

Some members of the public who cheered the change said Anderson was abrasive and his leadership style was disruptive of the district.

Lowe maintained this wasn't about Anderson.

"It's not about any particular person," he said. "It's just about ensuring that the patrons of this district, that everyone who is involved knows that we as a board are moving things forward, that we're doing what's best for the children."

The meeting itself took several hours and didn't conclude until 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

This is the latest turmoil to rock the district, which is under the threat of losing its accreditation from the Missouri Board of Education.

The Anderson-led board just hired this spring Dennis Carpenter as superintendent. Carpenter comes from a district near Atlanta, and is already shaking up the staff by axing the contracts of some long-time personnel members. He also wants to shake up the school leadership.

Last November, the board removed Everlyn Williams as its superintendent.

The announcement came exactly one month after the Missouri education department gave the district provisional accreditation. The district's status was downgraded after a slide in state test scores.

In recent weeks, Anderson has sought the censure of another board member and has fought with other board members over accusations of Sunshine Law violations. He apparently ruffled feathers by establishing his own office at district headquarters.

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