MCINTOSH CO., GA (WTOC) - McIntosh County School Board members spoke out on Monday night about their controversial decision to keep McIntosh Superintendent Tina Kirby, Assistant Superintendent Larry Day and McIntosh Academy Principal Terrance Haywood.
The trio was charged with failure to report child abuse, and Haywood was charged with making false statements to state officials, which is a felony.
The allegations came after McIntosh Academy math teacher Lori Quigley was arrested and charged with sexual assault for an alleged affair with two male students over the age of 16.
The county is in an uproar over the school board's decision to keep the administrators, even after they were arrested.
"We need to clean house, and we need to make this a perfect, safe place for our children," said McIntosh alumnae Sandy McDonald.
The meeting was overflowing, with people sitting on the floor and populating the lobby. McDonald was one of the many who chastised the school board for not taking action after a vote to suspend the administrators failed last week.
"I'm frustrated, and I'm upset and I'm angry too, but as you all know, it takes a three person vote here," said school board member Sonya Lumley.
The majority of the school board sided with Kirby, saying the community should withhold judgment and let the courts decide their fate.
"It's just a lynching," said school board member Dwight Jordan. "And let's not lynch our children with the opportunity for their education."
"We got the same information this lady got, so if she's guilty, all five of us should be in jail," said school board member Joseph Maulden.
Some parents mounted a small protest outside the meeting, with signs demanding the administrators be suspended without pay.
Other rushed to their defense.
"There are some things we can fix in our school system, as in all school systems," said McIntosh parent Loretta Lynn Mitchell. "But just like a house with a leaky roof, you don't tear down the whole house because the roof leaks. You fix it."
One thing sides can agree on: they don't want this to serve as a distraction as students begin standardized testing on Tuesday.