Protesters left wondering why Taylor County Superintendent was fired
BUTLER, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – More than 100 protesters gathered outside the Board of Education building in Butler to protest the termination of the Taylor County superintendent, Dr. Gary Gibson.
He was dismissed Monday night during the Board of Education meeting by a 3-2 vote.
“We’re very confused,” protest spokesperson Brenda Gates said. “We want to know why! What is that he has done that is so bad that he had to go?”
Gibson wasn’t given a reason by the Board of Education; he was even asked to leave the room while the members voted. He says it’s a case of “rotten politics.”
“It’s unfortunate that politics played a role in this decision,” Gibson said. “For decades and decades there’s been a very small group that’s made the decisions. That surfaced again today, you see that small group making every decision.”
Parents and students were angered they were never consulted by board members regarding how they felt about Gibson and the impending vote. The protesters waited outside as Gibson began cleaning out his office. They held signs and chanted “we want Gibson!”
“I am 52 years old, he’s the best superintendent I ever seen,” Gates said. “And when I say the best, he is the best.”
Some students were seen crying as a result of Gibson’s forced departure. Parents say Gibson made improvements at Taylor County schools by removing under performing teachers and making improvements to athletic facilities.
Gibson believes those changes rubbed some of the board members the wrong way. But parents say the changes he made were good. According to the Department of Education, test scores under Gibson went up.
“My older two that came through and did not get the same quality that my junior is now getting, mostly through some of the changes that Dr. Gibson has, these students love this man,” Kevin Eubanks said.
41NBC called three of the five school board members but none of them got back to us. In a statement from Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Albritton, former superintendent Norman Carter was named the Interim Superintendent on a 3-2 vote.
Albritton didn’t mention why Gibson was fired, leaving parents and students perplexed. They’re working on assembling a petition and meeting to demand answers and bring back Dr. Gibson.
The next Board of Education meeting is September 29. 41NBC will continue to follow this story.