MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. — The superintendent of the Union County school system abruptly resigned Thursday during a board meeting after parents approached the panel to speak about ongoing issues related to bullying at some schools.
"I just want to say this," said Dr. James Carter during the meeting, after several parents approached the board during a public comment session. "I resign effective immediately."
The board then went into an executive session so they could learn the next steps to find an interim superintendent. During the executive session, board members could not deliberate or vote. Instead, they could provide facts and speak directly to a supervisor of the board.
After the executive session, Brad Griffey from the Second District was nominated to serve as interim director before the executive session ended.
The board is expected to meet again 6 p.m. Friday.
The now-former director of schools said most reports of fighting and bullying are from Horace Maynard Middle School. He previously released a letter saying he is aware of what is happening and that moving forward, students who were fighting and bullying would receive a three-day suspension from school.
Parents gathered at the meeting Thursday to speak about ongoing bullying incidents they were seeing at schools.
"The girl slammed her head against the way," said Pam Sands, talking about her middle school daughter. "Our schools are not protecting our children and when you don't feel safe to send your kids to school it makes you want to pull them out."
Many parents also complained about posts showing bullying proliferating on social media. They said many pages glorified incidents where students were assaulted at school.
"People able to post these fights on TikTok and things like that, that's not fair," said Sands. "My kids are still being tormented by this kid and the school is doing nothing about it."