Richmond Co. principal put on administrative leave after outburst at BOE meeting

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email
Principal Hartley Gibbons (From the Richmond County Board of Education website)

Principal Hartley Gibbons (From the Richmond County Board of Education website)

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The principal of a local elementary school who had an outburst at the Richmond County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night has been put on administrative leave with pay.

Hartley Gibbons, principal of Terrace Manor Elementary School, was escorted out of the meeting by public safety officers.

Gibbons was also escorted out of the elementary school on Wednesday morning.

The BOE says Gibbons has received written notice and has consented in writing to taking administrative leave. His administrative leave will be for "an indefinite" amount of time.

The news release from the BOE says Gibbons interrupted the board in a "rude, unprofessional and insubordinate manner" while protesting his school's ranking on the outlay priority list. The board says he "was not on the agenda, was speaking out of turn" and he was asked to "quit interrupting the speaker." To see the video of the outburst, visit The Augusta Chronicle's website here.

"Given such unprofessional behavior and an erratic demeanor in the presence of the Board of Education, Dr. Frank Roberson, superintendent, became concerned that Mr. Gibbons may not be able to continue to perform his duties without danger of disruption or other serious harm to the school, its mission, pupils or personnel until such time as the matter can be thoroughly reviewed," says the news release.

Gibbons is concerned with what he says are unresolved environmental issues at Terrace Manor, including asbestos and mold.

The school system says recent reports "indicate the school environment is a safe and healthy environment for students and staff" and that the school system is still waiting on results from more recent testing.

According to the news release, "All earlier assessments conducted demonstrate no finding of harmful mold in the air or a suspect environment."

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