'It is a shock' - Dr. David Harris removed as Desoto Superintendent

"It is a shock," Dr. David Harris said as he got in his truck Monday night, outside the Desoto ISD building, just minute after the school board voted unanimously to relieve him of his duties as Superintendent.

Board president Carl Sherman would not divulge details of the boards decision, saying they "can't discuss that at this time."

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Several members of the Desoto community believe the decision stems from staunch disagreements regarding who to hire as the next head football coach at Desoto, to replace Todd Peterman, who resigned last month.

"At no point was the football program discussed," Sherman said. "That's not our priority. Our priority is that our kids have a great education."

But according to sources, there are disagreements about who should next coach the Eagles, and they center around former Eagles coach Claude Mathis.

A coaching search committee was created by the board, to help find the next football coach. That committee, a source tells WFAA, voted 11-0 against bringing Mathis in for an interview. Despite that, we're told the school board has told the committee they will interview Mathis anyway.

In addition, Dr. Harris and some members of the school board disagreed regarding the future direction of the football program. We're told the effort to push Harris out stems from concerns among certain board members that Harris was an impediment to their efforts to hire Mathis.

Now Harris has been relieved of his duties, after four hours of deliberation in a close executive session.

"Total shock," Desoto community member Traci Sanders said afterward. "We were told that it was a normal meeting, as usual, and that clearly wasn't the case. There's got to be a reason behind this, and I can't wait to find out what it is."

"I'm quite angry and disappointed with knowing as little as we do, as a community member."

Who is her anger directed at?

"I would say all of the board members," Sanders said, "because I really don't know -- everything is so tight lipped... they've got to share something with us, so we've got something to go on, as parents."

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There are members of the community that support Mathis' return to Desoto, and they showed up to voice their opinions on Monday night.

"Why go and get an experimental coach, because of experimental vendettas?" parent Don Wilson asked. "Bring in the guy who really wants this job back, who's fighting to get this job back, and we know what he can do."

But many people, regardless of their feelings about the coaching search, academic standards at Desoto, or any other school district related issue, echoed similar sentiments of frustration with the board.

"No, I'm not satisfied by the answers that were given [by board president Carl Sherman]. And they shouldn't be satisfied with giving us so little information."