Warrenton community stands behind principal

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November 21, 2006

A principal in Warren County is on leave and under investigation. The GBI is looking into whether Thomas McDonald asked a student for sex.

While the Warren County High School principal has not been charged or arrested for the sexual allegations, he's on paid administrative leave for what the community believes are false accusations.

The top administrator at Warren County High School faces serious allegations of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old student.

The tightly knit community in Warrenton says the allegations are simply not true.

The 15-year-old female claims the incident took place at the school just before they left for their playoff game versus Bowden High School on Saturday night.

According to the incident report, the student alleges Principal McDonald told her he wanted to have oral sex with her.

Then it says when she tried to go change her clothes, McDonald told her she could change in front of him.

When the student went to the bathroom to change, the report says McDonald hugged her around the neck and pushed her against the wall when she came out of the bathroom.

Warren County School Superintendent Carole Jean Carey says she wasn't aware of the allegations until Monday night's board meeting.

"Anytime anyone alleges misconduct to a professional educator it's serious," she told News 12. "He knows that."

But Bunny Wiley says she thinks it's a far cry from the truth. She says she talked to McDonald at the football game that night and she remembers because McDonald gave up his jacket so a student wouldn't be cold.

"Then he had to stand there throughout the whole game without a jacket," Wiley said. "That's the kind of guy he is."

The superintendent told us when McDonald was hired for the assistant principal job two years ago, he came from Burke County High School with glowing recommendations.

The investigation has now been turned over to the state.