Waco ISD school board president responds to arrest of superintendent


Hours after Waco ISD Board President Pat Atkins found out about Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson’s arrest, he called for a special meeting after Spring Break.

“As a board, we are still in the ‘fact-finding’ mode of figuring out what exactly happened and then making some decisions that will be best for the district and for the students,” Atkins says.

Dr. Nelson was pulled over by a DPS trooper on Wednesday night for driving in the passing lane on U.S. 190. He was later arrested on accusations of having less than two ounces of marijuana.

“These are just allegations. It’s charges,” Atkins says. “There’s been no final determination or judication of guilt or anything like that.”

Dr. Nelson is known for implementing new strategies to the district when he was hired as superintendent in 2017 and changing the scope of five failing schools to meet state standards.

Officials say he’s also known for his positive outreach.

“On the one hand, people fully appreciate that Dr. Nelson is a dynamic leader, who over the past 18 months has done a lot of great things in this community,” Atkins says.

He says he’s had an overwhelming amount of feedback from the community.

“On the other hand, he is in a position where he is a role model for young people all across this community and as a board and a district, we need to be sensitive to the message we send to those young people,” Atkins says.

The district says they’re doing everything they can before taking immediate action.

“If this turns out to be true, there are consequences to making bad decisions,” Atkins says.

The board will resume from Spring Break with a special meeting on March 19. For more information, you can view our previous story here.

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