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DeKalb school board members caught napping during meeting?

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Parent Jennifer Hatfield sent FOX 5 this picture of DeKalb County School Board Chairman Dr. Eugene Walker during a school board meeting. Parent Jennifer Hatfield sent FOX 5 this picture of DeKalb County School Board Chairman Dr. Eugene Walker during a school board meeting.
DeKalb Schools board member Sarah Copelin-Wood is seen in this picture sent by parent Jennifer Hatfield. DeKalb Schools board member Sarah Copelin-Wood is seen in this picture sent by parent Jennifer Hatfield.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

Were DeKalb County school board members caught sleeping on the job? FOX 5 has obtained photos of DeKalb County School Board Chairman Dr. Eugene Walker and board member Sarah Copelin-Wood apparently dozing off on the job.

The pictures were snapped by parent Jennifer Hatfield at an important hearing where the state school board reviewed the performance of the embattled DeKalb Board of Education. The school district is facing possible loss of accreditation.

"I was aghast. I was absolutely aghast," said Hatfield.

When asked by FOX 5's Justin Gray about the picture, Walker denied that the picture showed him sleeping.

"That's not sleeping. You should have seen me and should have been there," Walker said.

Hatfield said that she is sure of what we saw.

"He was absolutely asleep. I was right across the aisle from him. He was nodding off," Hatfield said.

On Friday, DeKalb Schools appointed former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond as interim superintendent after approving a separation agreement with former chief Dr. Cheryl Atkinson.

Some parents question Thurmond's political ties to the board.

"I do everything I can to address these issues to resolve these issues, to resolve these issues so  that we can once again secure full accreditation for this district," Thurmond said.

Thurmond's contract is for 12 months and will pay him $250,000 annually. He says he doesn't want the job full time; he wants to solve the crisis and then go back to his law practice.

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