Pat Cooper Grateful To Lafayette, Will Continue Appeal Of Termination
Former Lafayette School System Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper said he was grateful to the people of Lafayette for allowing him to serve as the leader of the school system, but he made it clear he would appeal his termination all the way to the Louisiana Supreme Court if necessary.
At question is the powers granted to superintendents by Act 1, a piece of law that Cooper had time and again cited as his reason for making some decisions, including the hiring of a special assistant without a high school diploma and the hiring of some principals at different salary schedules than others.
Cooper was often at odds with a majority of Lafayette Parish School Board members; meetings often lasted well into the night, and Cooper was reprimanded by the board for his continual employment of Thad Welch, his special assistant who did not meet the qualifications outlined in his job description.
"He cleaned up the schools," Cooper said. "And he stopped all the stealing and corruption that was going on."
Cooper also said the "100 Percent In...100 Percent Out" plan--or the Turnaround Plan as it's commonly called--was working, and the "school system was getting improved a lot."
"The school system in three years really progressed," Cooper said.
Detractors of Cooper and his plans were simply part of a vocal minority said, and some were "professional commenters," referring to comments made about him on various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The school board ultimately voted 7-2 in November to terminate Cooper's contract.
Regardless, Cooper said Lafayette is a great place to live and he will remain in the Hub City.
To listen to the full interview with Cooper, click on the 'Play' button below.