MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Marlboro County School District has posted a second administration job, despite saying no one has been terminated when the principal said none of the administrators’ contracts would be renewed.
The job for assistant high school principal was posted Thursday by the district. On Monday, the principal’s job was also posted.
A district spokesperson told News13 Thursday that no administrators have quit or resigned.
Principal Jamane Watson told News13 he was told on Friday that the district was “looking to go in a different direction.” The district did not specifically address those allegations in written statements Tuesday from Interim Superintendent Donald Andrews and Board Chair Jackie Branch, saying that the board has not terminated anyone.
Watson asked why his job was posted if no one has been terminated, as the district claims. News13 was able to verify that the high school principal job was posted by the district on Monday.
“To be clear, the administration did not terminate any Marlboro High School administrators,” Andrews said in a statement. “Any information contrary to that fact is not accurate and not supported by the administration.”
Hundreds of students walked out of the classrooms in protest Tuesday afternoon, with signs expressing their love and appreciation for Watson and several administrators. Students said the administration listens and encourages students to strive for the better. So when they received the news that the administrators’ contracts wouldn’t be renewed, they decided to protest.
“They really listen,” said Kayleigh Otom, a junior at Marlboro County High School. “The other ones, they didn’t listen like that, but they pay attention and they understand us. If we need help, we can feel comfortable to go talk to them.”
Watson was not offered the opportunity to teach and said he was not expecting the termination. He said it “caught me off guard,” and “we were heading in the right direction. I was blindsided.”
Watson also said his administrative team, two assistant principals and a career and technical education director were similarly called into a meeting Monday, and were told they also would not be offered renewed contracts at the end of the school year.
They were told the reason was the new principal should be able to pick out his or her own administrative team.
The current administrative team will be allowed to reapply for their current positions, and will be offered teaching contracts, according to Watson.
Watson said he was unhappy with the way things have played out but that he isn’t selfish. He said, “I just want what’s in the best interest of the kids and the community.”
Several school board members contacted by News13 said they would not comment on the situation.