Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Some students and parents at Lucy C. Laney High School are upset over losing the school’s fifth principal in six years. There was a protest Tuesday afternoon to convince the school system to bring back Jonathan Woods for next school year.
Jonathan Woods resigned as principal earlier, this month, but some believe he was forced to leave by the Richmond County Board of Education (RCBOE).
“WHAT DO WE WANT? WOODS! WHEN DO WE WANT HIM? NOW!” cried protestors after school on Tuesday.
Johnathan Woods worked as Laney High School’s Principal for eight months. He was well-regarded for establishing new programs at Laney. Carolyn Forrest, a parent of a Laney Student says “He has done college classes, coming into college, like upward bound programs that now our seniors and juniors can take college level classes, something that Laney never had before.”
Current Laney seniors have had three principals since coming in as Freshman. To some, Woods was their favorite. Cheterria Terrell, a Laney senior, says, “It was kind of bad for a lot of people because we were just getting the hang of him. And (we) knew that he did make a lot of stuff happen for us, we were starting to really appreciate him as a new principal.”
Woods was suspended as principal in February for having an inappropriate relationship with another educator while working as assistant principal at a Rockdale County school. Protestors say the high principal turnover rate is hurting progress at Laney. “There’s too much non-consistence going on at Laney with the different principals. We have had a principal last year who brought a lot of misery to these kids versus this principal now brought the life back into the school system, not just the teachers, but the parents and the students as well,” says Forrest.
There’s no word yet if the Richmond County BOE knew of Woods’ suspension before hiring him as principal. But, the protestors believe that RCBOE forced him to resign after hearing about his past offenses.