Protesters speak against Sumter Co. school leaders

Sumter Co. School Protest

AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - Parents in the Sumter County School District said they believe one school principal is a bully and that the superintendent supports the principal’s actions.

Parents are calling out the Sumter County Schools superintendent and the Americus Sumter Ninth Grade Academy principal for alleging not operating for the best interest of the students.

The parents said a large number of employee resignations proves their assertions.

It’s the students of Americus Sumter Ninth Grade Academy who parents said are suffering from both their school principal and superintendent.

“There is a lot of bullying going on with the students, with the teachers, and the teachers need someone to speak out for them because they can’t do it,” Vincent Kearse, an organizer of a Friday rally, said.

Vincent Kearse. (Source: WALB)
Vincent Kearse. (Source: WALB)

WALB spoke to Superintendent Torrance Choates on these allegations.

“This is the first that I’ve heard of me bullying somebody,” Choates said.

Torrance Choates. (Source: WALB)
Torrance Choates. (Source: WALB)

Bridget Wright, who is a parent, claims her son was bullied by Principal Cindy Anglin.

“It’s like he fears you and he doesn’t even want to go to school anymore,” Wright said.

Wright said she didn’t get help from Choates.

“He’ll get back with you, that’s all I’ve been hearing. I can dream about he’ll get back with you. That’s it. And he never has,” Wright said.

Bridget Wright. (Source: WALB)
Bridget Wright. (Source: WALB)

Choates said as principal, Anglin is going to uphold discipline.

“She knows that in order for effective curriculum and structure to take place there’s got to be strong discipline in the school,” the superintendent added.

Choates said the principal’s statistics are speaking for themselves.

“In 2017, the CCRPI score was 54.8. Okay. Her number jumped to 68.5. That’s a significant jump,” he said.

Some of the protesters are concerned after filing an open records request that show 166 resignations under Choates.

“How can the children have a stable environment to learn when they are constantly seeing new principals, new teachers, you can’t learn in that type of environment?” Kearse said.

Choates said those 166 resignations are from a number of things but the majority of them were not forced resignations.

WALB reached out to Anglin for comment but hasn’t heard back.

Protesters said they are in the process of filing a complaint with the school board and hope the board will support them.

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