Rally held in support of Superintendent Dr. Larke

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After eleven years as superintendent of Richmond County schools, Dr. Charles Larke is fighting for his job.

Wednesday, his supporters rallied in front of the Board of Education.

The rally was organized by the Concerned Citizens of Augusta and local radio station Rejoice 94.7. About 150 people were in attendance, including elected officials, teachers, parents, and students.

They say they are here to defend Dr. Larke after all that's happened within the last three months.

His contract, his salary, and pending lawsuits are all hot topics surrounding Superintendent Dr. Charles Larke.

Much of the talk began in March when several board members held a news conference questioning an annuity clause in his contract, which they say makes him one of the highest paid superintendents in Georgia.

"It will be our recommendation that this clause be completely removed from the superintendent's contract," said Richmond County School Board member A.K. Hasan at the time.

But the way in which information was presented didn't sit so well with Dr. Larke.

"Some of the things appear to be illegal, unethical and to me this is micromanaging which goes against the board's code of ethics," Dr. Larke said.

And then there's his evaluation, which is still ongoing.

"It's not fair to keep dragging it out, he should retire or resign really for all the things he's not done for the school system," says parent Evelyn Krouse.

Larke has also recently been hit with several lawsuits. A federal jury found he used race as a factor in transferring a former principal.

And earlier this month, a teacher filed a sexual harassment suit against him.

To some, it's all an attempt to force Larke to resign. That's why his supporters planned the rally.

"Let's face it," says Rev. Clarence Greer. "It's a racial thing. It's racial. People don't think a man of color should be making the type of money he's making."

"He has persevered through a lot of hard obstacles," says former teacher Margaret Armstrong. "I'm concerned if he's all that wrong, why did the board continuously sit there and vote year after year after year for ideas he and community leaders presented to them?"

The rally started off peacefully, but when a man opposing Dr. Larke interrupted one of the speakers, the crowd went into an uproar. The man was escorted away by security.