CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The Charleston County School District Board of Trustees voted five to four, to put the new superintendent on paid administrative leave.
This happened Monday night at the school district board meeting.
Dr. Eric Gallien was voted in as superintendent of the CCSD in late June.
When he was placed on paid administrative leave Monday night, it’s decision that was met with backlash from the community and some board members.
“It was really heartbreaking, the audience was visibly upset,” board member Courtney Waters said.
The decision came after a complaint was made against Dr. Gallien that the board talked about in executive session, which is not open to the public or media.
After that meeting, the board unanimously voted in favor of investigating the complaint.
“Those claims are typically investigated and there are numerous bodies that can investigate them, but there’s no necessity to put dr. Gallien on administrative leave,” Water said.
Among the board members who voted against the move was Waters.
She says there are outside influences impacting the board’s decisions.
Water said, “The moms for liberty organization and its members are absolutely controlling the board.”
News 2 reached out to some of the board members who voted in favor of placing Dr. Gallien on leave, and they have not responded yet.
The school district did send a statement saying “CCSD’s practice is to not comment on the specifics of personnel decisions. The decision made by the board of trustees last night and information about their decision-making is shared at their discretion.”
State Representative Marvin Pendarvis says amid this chaos, he has proposed a bill that would remove North Charleston schools, the schools in his district, from the CCSD and create their own district.
“The needs of those students that are being impacted the most aren’t being serviced by the district and maybe we need to look at what we can do to form and independent district that can address the needs of the school and last night’s meeting only underscored why we decided to go that route in the first place,” Pendarvis said.
Waters says the only way they can stop what she calls unfair treatment of Dr. Gallien is unification.
“The community needs to join together, which we’re working on that, to make sure that we create an agenda and a set of strategies that’s going to allow us to take our school district back,” Waters said.
We’re told by a board member this could prompt a walk out, where teachers and other administrators in CCSD will leave their schools.