BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Superintendent Ernest Garrett III began leading Louisiana’s Special School District in September of 2020, which meant the Louisiana School for the Deaf (LSD) and the School for the Visually Impaired in Baton Rouge were under his authority.
But as of Monday, July 25, this has changed.
The Special School District’s Board of Directors met regarding an ongoing investigation into Garrett and agreed that his potential compliance and performance issues fell short of what was necessary to continue in his role.
In a vote of 8-0, the Board decided Garrett would be relieved of his duties as superintendent and replaced by Acting Superintendent, Katherine Granier.
Garrett moved to Louisiana and took on the role of superintendent at the age of 38. He came from a background of leadership, as the CEO of St. Louis’s Deaf Empowerment Awareness Foundation and the first Deaf and African American superintendent of the Missouri School for the Deaf.
Upon becoming superintendent, Garrett didn’t waste any time in taking steps to separate LSD from its reputation as an institution where multiple sexual assaults and other crimes had occurred.
But not everyone approved of the sweeping changes Garrett made to LSD’s faculty and staff. Some felt he was a newcomer who was using his authority to replace experienced people with individuals who were unfamiliar with the local community.
Clearly, the Board’s July 25th decision was not the first time Garrett came under fire.
Since 2020, his efforts have been scrutinized.
After voting to oust Garrett, Special School District officials unanimously motioned to choose Chas Griffin, legal counsel of the Board, and Acting Superintendent Granier to report the findings of the investigation to the Office of State Inspector General, the Division of Administration, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, and the District Attorney.
The Board’s likely next step is to search for a new superintendent.