Board members react to Larke rally

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It was a heated rally Wednesday, May 24 as parents and educators showed up outside the Richmond County Board of Education to show their support for Dr. Charles Larke.

The superintendent has come under criticism in the past year over his salary and most recently a pending lawsuit from a current teacher alleging sexual harassment.

News 12's Diane Cho talked to some of Dr. Larke's supporters at the rally to find out why they were there and what board members had to say about it.

Dozens of people were still hanging out long after the protest rally was over.

More than 150 people showed up, chanting.

One parent even managed to document just how many people support Dr. Larke.

"I'd like to get 6,000 signatures," says Linda Williams, a Windsor Spring Elementary School parent. "I've been here trying to get more. Got 1,000, and 5,000 to go."

Even Charles "Champ" Walker, Jr. left his own James Brown news conference to be there for Dr. Larke.

"We support the man," Walker said. "Clinton got in trouble, James Brown got in trouble, I don't know one man without a sin, but we support him and the job he does."

We caught up with board members after tonight's budget meeting to find out how they felt about the rally.

One board member went as far as calling it "a sad commentary to this administration".

"To have a spokesman as a convicted felon, like Ryan B. spearheading this," said board member A.K. Hasan. "The superintendent was found guilty of discrimination. He'd certainly want to distance himself from someone with a criminal background. But obviously he has not elected to do that."

"People have a right as long as it's not on school hours," said board member Helen Minchew.

Protestors chose Wednesday for the rally because of the scheduled budget meeting.

And after looking at a preliminary budget, some board members are wondering where all of the money will come from...especially now that Governor Perdue has mandated how counties spend their own money.

"You get down to not a lot of choices," Minchew said.

"I think it helps, it limits us but we hope to address it," said Hasan.