News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012
AUGUSTA,Ga -- Terrace Manor Principal Hartley Gibbons announced his retirement at a staff meeting with his teachers and the superintendent on Thursday afternoon.
News 12 was kept out of that meeting, but when we went to campus earlier on Thursday, we heard from many parents who echoed the principal's concerns about student safety.
"I just don't think he deserves what they have done to him." said parent Nell Grubbs.
Gibbons took to the streets in protest of health concerns at Terrace Manor Elementary only to be slapped with administrative leave.
"Something has got to be done about the school itself," Grubbs said.
The now retiring principal's sidewalk march outside the Board of Education was meant to highlight mold concerns at the school.
"And then they need to get the right people in here to uncover where they have painted over the mold and stuff," Grubbs said.
We went inside to ask questions but immediately encountered road blocks.
"I do not want to answer any questions, and I don't want this in my face." said Executive Director for Elementary Schools Cheryl Jones as she pushed the microphone away.
"And if you put this on the news there will be problems because you do not have permission to do this," Jones said.
"Is that a threat, ma'am?" we asked.
"No," Jones replied.
"Sounds like one to me," said a parent standing nearby. "I'm a parent and it sounds like one to me. People are wearing masks. I don't want my daughter sick."
Parents worry the building is making children sick. Little Kendrick Cooper's mom has withdrawn him from school until the system can provide answers.
"I think they should just fix the problem," said Teandrea Ramos. "People don't need to be moving their kids from school to school."
Hal Thomason has been named interim principal.