CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County School Board voted 9-1 Monday to reassign Ronnie Burgess, the principal at the Academy of Arts, Science, & Technology, to Carolina Forest High School to serve as its new assistant principal.
The decision came after several weeks of petitions from some of Burgess' students, parents and community leaders who are upset by the move.
"I think that they've decimated a positive role model in one of their most highly visible school districts," said Donald Gist, Burgess' attorney, who believes the board's decision was based on race. "People in this community deserve better; they deserve an opportunity to have people like Mr. Burgess in the forefront leading the district."
School Board Chairman Will Garland says the decision to relocate Burgess was based on deficiencies in leadership and management.
"We're hopeful that Mr. Burgess will accept and embrace his new position with Horry County Schools," said Garland. "We think he has great potential for moving forward with our district in administrative roles and we've placed him at a school where he's with one of our strongest principals."
Gist says he plans to fight the decision in court. Paul Hudson was the only school board member to vote against Burgess' relocation.