Winnsboro Man Ejected from Schol Board Meeting

A Winnsboro man was ejected from a May 29 School Board meeting after his end of an exchange with the interim superintendent, Dr. David Eubanks, grew heated.

Andrea Harrison, Board Chairwoman, asked Thomas “Tony” Armstrong to calm down or she would have him removed after Armstrong became visibly agitated during a discussion with Eubanks.

“You don’t have to remove me. I’ll remove myself,” Armstrong said before being escorted from the Board room by a Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputy.

Armstrong, a mainstay of the public comment session of Fairfield County School Board meetings for many years, addressed the Board earlier that evening on what he said was the “Buddy-buddy system,” which he claimed prevented the hiring of a more experienced Fairfield County native to a principal position at a District elementary school. Instead, he said, someone with connections to a high-level District employee got the job.

At the end of Armstrong’s comments, Harrison asked Armstrong to provide Eubanks with whatever information he had regarding the hire and that Eubanks would investigate the matter. A review of the video recording of the meeting shows Armstrong approach Dr. Eubanks just as the Board was preparing to retire into executive session. After a brief conversation between the two men, Armstrong began raising his voice.

“I heard Mr. Armstrong say, ‘We brought you into this District and we can take you out. I’m your boss’,” Harrison told The Voice. “I asked him to calm down or he would be removed.”

“I told him how I felt as a taxpayer,” Armstrong said later.

Harrison said she did not know if the Board could prevent Armstrong from speaking at future Board meetings, but she did say the Board would have to monitor what he had to say.

“If he gets off track or says something that isn’t true, we’ll have to call him on it,” she said.

As for Dr. Eubanks, he said he had already forgotten about the matter.

Armstrong took to the podium again June 5, this time to announce his candidacy for the District 6 School Board seat, which is currently held by Marchella Pauling. His announcement was ruled out of order by Harrison at the behest of Board member Beth Reid.