Parents petition for removal of Copeland Elementary principal

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, June 3, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Parents are outraged at a local elementary school principal for what they're calling disorderly conduct.

Now, they're taking a stand after a string of complaints against this principal in the last year.

"We're trying to get the Board of Education to acknowledge this problem," said Rev. Dr. Frank Beckles.

Beckles has lived in Augusta for more than 10 years, and when it was time for his son, Christian, to start school at Copeland Elementary, he never thought he'd have problems with the school.

"The initial problem started last year with kids being attacked at the bus stop," he said.

Beckles says Christian was one of those kids.

He says he was assured that the principal, Kimberly Davis, was taking measures to make sure it didn't happen again, but Beckles says it did.

"The same thing happened again," he explained. "In this situation, my son was not only attacked, they broke his glasses."

A father of three with one on the way, Beckles says he feels there's a problem and that it starts with Davis.

"It used to be not like this," he said. "There was a time where you had principals and teachers [and] a majority of them really cared about the students."

After dealing with the issue for about a year, Beckles took his children out of school, and now, he's gotten about 50 signatures of other parents who say they're dealing with similar problems.

"Complaints have been piling up with the Board of Education and it's like a standstill," Beckles said.

Beckles and his wife were shocked to realize they weren't the only ones with issues with Davis.

"A lot of parents, like myself, we've tried to work with the Board of Education," he explained.

Now, Beckles, along with other parents, plans to take a stand by marching the petition to the Board of Education Wednesday afternoon.

"We're going to act on faith and let God direct us on what we need to do, but we feel that the first course of action is getting her fired," he said.

Beckles says the march this Wednesday isn't just about getting Davis removed -- their main goal is to get conversations flowing about parents' issues.

News 12 reached out to Copeland Elementary and the school board but did not hear back.

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