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December 5, 2006

State Superintendent of Education On Deaf School Protest

From: WLBT-TV - Jackson,MS,USA - Dec 5, 2006

By Bert Case

Dr. Hank Bounds, Mississippi Superintendent of Education, says Mississippi has a teacher shortage and that is part of the problem at the Mississippi School for the Deaf.

He told a Mississippi Economic Council Forum that the state has 1,700 teachers who are not technically qualified to teach what they are teaching, but there is no other choice because of the shortage.

Bounds admitted there are four teachers at the Mississippi School for the Deaf who are not proficient in sign language, but that is happening because they can't find enough teachers who can sign.

Asked if he would favor a law requiring that teachers be able to sign before they could teach the deaf, he responded, "That would be great to have a requirement, but you still have to find people who can sign. We have requirements out there now, but you still have to find people who are qualified."

About 20 students participated in a protest November 29th at the Mississippi School for the Deaf, because some of their teachers can't sign.

Three days later the top two administrators at the school were fired. Bounds said he couldn't talk about why, because that is a "personnel matter."

© 2006 WorldNow and WLBT, a Raycom Media Station.