McIntosh Co. superintendent pleads not guilty in child abuse cas - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

McIntosh Co. superintendent pleads not guilty in child abuse case

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MCINTOSH CO., GA (WTOC) -

Three McIntosh County School administrators are now under investigation by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, that's the agency that reviews ethics complaints. Superintendent Tina Kirby, Assistant Superintendent Larry Day and McIntosh County Academy Principal Terrance Haywood are all charged with failing to report child abuse.

Thursday, Superintendent Tina Kirby pleaded not guilty to those charges. WTOC was the only television station there.

This case goes back to high school teacher Lori Quigley who was accused of having sex with several students. Prosecutors say Kirby and the others didn't report it right away.

Depending on what the GAPSC find in their investigation, these administrators could potentially lose their teaching license. Right now, they are still employed in McIntosh County and are holding a workshop tonight.

According to the agenda, they'll be discussing their current media policy which says:

TV appearances pertaining to McIntosh County Schools should be cleared with the superintendent.

The policy has been in place for more than a decade but in the last couple of months, WTOC has interviewed several board members without the superintendent's clearance.

Thursday, WTOC tracked down Chairman Bonnie Caldwell today to ask her if this is an attempt to silence all the media coverage on the sex scandal; she says she's not sure.

"It's not real clear about who it pertains too," said Caldwell.

Caldwell says she was caught off guard when she saw it on the agenda. She says she's never been told she can't talk to the media. She says regardless of what happens tonight, she believes there should be more than one voice for McIntosh County Schools.

"I'm an elected official," said Caldwell. "I have to be transparent to those that elect me, you should never want to put the school in a bad light but you have to be open and honest with the public."

Over the last couple of months, WTOC has tried to get in touch with Superintendent Kirby herself but she has not returned our calls or agreed to do an interview. 

Superintendent Tina Kirby and board member Holly Boone recommended changing their news media policy after they attended the Georgia School Board Association conference in Savannah a couple of weeks ago.

They realized their policy was very outdated and needed a designated person to handle the media and social media.

Several board members were concerned whether the intent was to silence board members from talking to the media.

Dr. Kirby said that was not the case at all. She just wants a more clear and updated policy.

Board members recommended Kirby research other school policies and make a recommendation at the next meeting.

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