With Copeland Elementary School parents petitioning for her dismissal, school principal Kimberly Davis sat down with me Wednesday to share her side of the story. She says the allegations are fabricated, and that she's never had a conversation with Frank Beckles, the man behind the petition...who says his step-son was bullied at the school and nothing was done about it.
Davis says, "he came to the office to see me. I was in with a teacher. He left the school and then he returned around 10:30 that morning. He signed in as Frank Green."
Beckles says he signed his name as Frank Green to help identify with his stepson, whose last name is Green. Beckles says he waited at the school for hours in hopes of talking to Principal Davis, but she never showed. Principal Davis says that's because she was in a budget meeting at the Central Office. She adds, "I never spoke to Mr. Green concerning his son. He later spoke with the assistant superintendent and that's when I found out his son's glasses had been broken."
From there, Davis says the appropriate steps were taken and that the child accused of doing the bullying was interviewed.
"I interviewed the child who allegedly broke the glasses and she explained to me that they were on the way to the bus and he slapped her. And she slapped him back," Davis explains.
Davis says the kids were playing a game called 'slap-box' and that the child apologized to Beckles' step-son. When she tried to return phone calls, Davis says Beckles told her 'we're not talking to you.'
"Everything is under control. There's no Copeland is out of control?" I asked. Davis triumphantly replies, "I invite you any day to come to Copeland; my teachers, my students are wonderful."
The Richmond County Board of Education issued a statement Wednesday, saying:
"On May 2, the administration was made aware of a complaint from a Copeland Elementary school parent, Mr. Green, regarding the principal's response to two incidents that he alleges oc-curred at the school. Currently, we are reviewing documents relative to each incident and will provide a response to the parent at the completion of the investigation. This inquiry is being con-ducted by the Assistant Superintendent who supervises this school, Dr. Missoura Ashe, and any other system personnel that is required. Regarding the allegation that this school is "out of control", Central Office staff regularly visits the school, attends school events and reviews discipline data that is reported electronically. There is no indication that this school is "out of control". Protocols are in place to guide principals in reporting incidents to parents and maintaining safety in each building. Principals routinely refer situations of major significance to the Assistant Superintendent and/or Deputy Superintendent for advisement. The principal, Mrs. Davis has followed this procedure in regards to the alleged incidents. The inquiry will continue until a resolution has been reached."
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