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Union County middle school principal quits amid frustration from parents over violent bullying

Days after the Union County Schools superintendent abruptly quit, the board said the principal at Horace Maynard Middle School also resigned.

UNION COUNTY, Tenn. — On June 9, the superintendent at Union County Schools, Dr. Jimmy Carter, unexpectedly announced that he would be resigning during a school board meeting. The announcement came after several parents spoke out about bullying at Horace Maynard Middle School.

On Thursday, they held another board meeting where 10News learned that the principal at that school, Rachael Hodges, had also resigned. An account on Instagram was created to post videos of violent bullying at the school at Union County High School, where parents also said there were several reports of violent bullying.

"A lot of parents were very unhappy with last school year," said David Coppock, the district chairman. "They didn't like her disciplinary actions or lack thereof."

It has posted nearly two dozen videos, showing students throwing punches at one another in places like the school bathroom.

Marty Gibbs, the board member from District 1, said they were hoping to fill the superintendent position quickly, to avoid them having a part-time director for the entire upcoming school year.

The school board previously negotiated a deal with Carter for him to stay with the district for 120 more days while they tried to find his replacement. They said they hoped to work out some of the details about replacing him during Thursday's meeting.

But, board members said Carter was on vacation. They said he would no longer have personnel or budget duties while he temporarily serves the school district. They also said they hope to have a more detailed conversation with Carter during the next school board meeting.

"I really hate that this happened," said David Coppock, the district's chairman. "It's mighty rough to try to get into a building program and not have your superintendent."

Since Carter will no longer be in charge of hiring new staff, it was not clear who would hire a new principal for Horace Maynard Middle School. The school district's lawyer said a contract for a new director can't go into effect until October 1.

The school board said they hope to sign a contract with the Tennessee School Boards Association to begin the search for a new leader.

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