Allendale Superintendent Shoots Down Allegations of Walkout, Nep - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Allendale Superintendent Shoots Down Allegations of Walkout, Nepotism

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Allendale County, SC -

WJBF started hearing Friday that students at Allendale-Fairfax High school allegedly staged a walk out after they heard their principal would no longer be heading the school.

"They did not stage a walkout, when you stage a walkout you leave the campus, they were in the commons area," Allendale Interim Superintendent Dr. Walter Tobin says.

But, Dr. Tobin says the news did hit the students hard.

"Naturally when children develop a relationship they get very close to someone, and we tried to explain the bigger picture, that is to provide the best education to our students," he says.

He says after he broke the news he gave students a chance to express their feelings.

"We allowed them to participate in the democratic process, we allowed them to peacefully protest," he says.

We also heard concerns about why Principal Ron Youmans was moved to the district's alternative school and wanted to follow-up on those as well.

"We had several viewers call in and say he was forced out because a board member wanted a relative or a friend, is that the case, is that true?"

"That is not the case, there is no nepotism involved," he says.

Instead he says, a change of leadership was required to allow the school to march forward:

"We have to think about the overall leadership, the progress of a school, so sometimes you make changes," Tobin says.

After speaking with the superintendent, we looked up the high school's federal accountability score - that grade, released this fall, was a 46.4.  That's an "F"  - to put that into perspective, Aiken's high schools scored a 74.4. Bamberg scored from the 60s to the 90s, and Barnwell's schools scored as low as a 36.6 and as high as a 86.5.

To be clear, the superintendent did not reference that data, but did say he made his decision to do the right thing for students.

"Rumors are mostly half right, sometimes not right at all, but folks don't remember the time they're not right," he says.

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