Richmond School Board members exchange heated words

Posted at 12:53 PM, Jun 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-20 13:43:46-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - Richmond School Board members exchanged heated words earlier this week, following a late-night closed-door session that stretched into Tuesday morning.

"It's going to come to light regardless," Richmond resident Shamika Taylor said. "God reveals everything that happens.  Whatever you do in the dark will show up in the light."

The two members at the center of the verbal dispute were newly elected board member Tichi Pinkney-Eppes and returning member Kimberly Gray, according to an email 6 from board member Shonda Harris-Muhammed sent to others on the board.

In the email, Harris-Muhammed said in part:

"This behavior from Ms. Kimberly Gray has occurred on numerous occasions and it demonstrates the lack of respect, integrity, character and professionalism amongst other areas."

The email went on to say:

"God sees and hears all."

Harris-Muhammed recently came under fire herself when a CBS 6 investigation questioned whether she had completed her doctorate degree.  She was later forced by the board to change her title.  However her emailed continued with:

"From the beginning of this term we have had unnecessary drama and unnecessary personal attacks."

The email doesn't spell out exactly what was said, but by phone today Pinkney-Eppes told reporter Jerrita Patterson she apologized for "using the nasty language." But she said she was "made to feel unsafe" and was "the victim of bullying."

Harris-Muhammed concluded her email by explaining what she perceived happened.

"Ms. Gray walked up from behind Mrs. Pickney-Eppes and began to engage in a verbal dispute.  This was calculated and it was strategically planned.  This behavior must stop."

We are still working to get a response from both Kimberly Gray and school board chairman Jeff Bourne.