The Alexandria School Board has postponed until next week any action on a parent-teacher task force report, which blames problems at George Mason Elementary School on the school's principal.

Board Chairman A. Melvin Miller's suggestion that any discussion of the task force findings be postponed until next week's meeting drew criticism from at least one board member.

"I am appalled at the suggestion that we put this off for two weeks. Not one board member said we are not ready to deal with this," said board Vice Chairman Angie Godfry. "We set up a task force and tell them when to be ready and they are and now we aren't."

Board members along with parents, school administrators and teachers, who packed the board room, listened for two hours as staff members read comments and recommendations from the 37-page report, which is based on interviews and written surveys given to teachers during the summer.

The task force of 14 parents and teachers was appointed in July to study problems at George Mason after several parents complained of curriculum and discipline problems at the school. Before classes began this fall, 15 parents withdrew their children. Most of those children now attend private schools.

The report's findings focus on the school's principal, Felicia Lanham Tarason, a former Montgomery County teacher, counselor and assistant principal who was hired last year to be principal at George Mason. According to the report, Lanham Tarason largely ignored parents' suggestions and was unsupportive of teachers who disciplined students.

"There is a very clear indication that there . . . is an overwhelming majority of teachers {who} felt that the principal did not appropriately support them in disciplinary matters," the report says. Further, the report states that "the principal should have an open-door policy for all teachers to raise their concerns or grievances. Teachers should not need appointments to see the principal."

Lanham Tarason could not be reached for comment.

Many of the recommendations made by the task force seek greater parental involvement in all facets of the school operations, including recommending that parent volunteers assist in classrooms to "help prevent and deal with discipline problems."

The report also proposes that an evaluation of Lanham Tarason be made available to parents and suggests that a professional mentor be provided for her. The mentor would report to the superintendent.