Elizabethton parents call for Superintendent to resign - WRBL

Elizabethton parents call for Superintendent to resign

Posted: Updated: April 18, 2013 11:41 PM
ELIZABETHTON, TN -

Tonight's Elizabethton City School Board meeting was much more tame then people expected.

Parents approached the podium and made their case for Principal Mitchell to return as West Side Elementary's principal. But parents are also taking on another cause.

"It's no longer about Mr. Mitchell keeping his job, although that's the priority here," said Tim Larkins, a parent at West Side.

"We'd like to see Mr. Alexander go," said Larkin, "I believe Elizabethton City Schools -- we need some new leadership."

Parents continue to pledge their ongoing support for Principal Mitchell-- even after his boss released a letter with what he called *sensitive* details, outlying his reasons for wanting to remove Mitchell.

But parents aren't buying it.

"I'm embarrassed our administrator would bring these issues to light when quite honestly many our very petty," said Larkin

Parents say there is a lack of proof.

"Just like how I tell my kids, a half true is always a lie," said Beth Street, while addressing the School Board.

Parents showed their support even after an allegation that Mitchell harassed one of his former teachers.

"I know the situation... I know what happened and I know what has been portrayed -- is not the truth," said Street.

"When Mr. Alexander tries to claim that a 90 minute conversation was harassment we all know 90 minute conversations aren't harassment, they are certainly consensual," said Larkin

Superintendent Alexander originally told News Channel 11 he would comment on the claims made in the letter -- but when confronted-- he declined to speak.

A reaction parents are surprised with, since Alexander was at one time in the same position as his principal.

"That's the irony of it," said Larkin


The next board meeting is scheduled for May 15th. At that time, Superintendent Alexander is expected to release his final decision on whether or not Mitchell will return to his job as West Side Elementary's Principal.


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  A packed house is expected at tonight's Elizabethton City School Board meeting. The hot topic will be an on-going dispute between the director of school and the principal of West Side Elementary.

Earlier this month,  parents filled the school's gymnasium after learning Director of Schools, Ed Alexander recommended Principal Doug Mitchell not return to his current role next school year. The gathering  turned into an argument between Mitchell and Alexander. Since then, school board members got letters from the superintendent detailing his reasons why Mitchell must go.
Most controversial was the allegation Principal Mitchell harassed a former West Wide teacher for more than 2 years, starting in 2009.


Mitchell denies the allegation. Tonight's school board meeting begins at 6:30. News Channel 11's Mike Lamia will be there and have a live reports starting at six.

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