KING AND QUEEN COUNTY, Va. -- New details are coming to the light in the controversy surrounding the removal of a high school principal in King and Queen County.
The school board said during an emergency meeting Friday that an internal investigation uncovered three students who graduated in the 2014-2015 school year should not have graduated.
As a result, the Virginia Department of Education told the school board those diplomas will be revoked.
Officials said those wrongly awarded diplomas can be reissued when the students provide proof that they have completed the required coursework.
“The school board is committed to taking all necessary action to correct the matter and give the students involved the opportunity to complete their graduation requirements and receive their diplomas,” School Board Vice Chair Brenda Lee said in a statement. [BONUS: Click here to read the complete news release from the school board]
Parents in the meeting were completely stunned by the allegations and questioned the timing of the investigation and demanded specifics about exactly how this could have happened and who is responsible.
The news comes after the school system shut down all schools on Friday after Antione Monroe resigned as principal of King and Queen County High School. His resignation was accepted at a special meeting called by the school board on Thursday, May 5.
“We were crying, as soon as we heard what they said,” said student Christopher Holmes. “And then people walked out.”
Residents spoke out in support of Monroe Friday even after the emergency meeting.
“It's a travesty what happened last night,” Lloyd Maxwell Paulette said. A good man was run out of the county.”
Earlier in the week students protested outside the high school in support of Monroe, who was placed on paid administrative leave last Friday, pending an investigation.
Dr. Carol Carter, Division Superintendent, only said at the time that the leave was a personnel matter, and could not provide additional information.
Carter released a statement to the press, via email:
"The King and Queen School Board has accepted the resignation of Antione Monroe as Principal of King and Queen County High School. Mr. Monroe is leaving to pursue other professional opportunities. He appreciates the opportunities he has had in King and Queen County, and his relationships with the students. King and Queen County School Board wishes him the best in his future endeavors. As in all personnel matters, we are not permitted to discuss the particulars as a matter of state law."
Schools plan to reopen Monday.
There was mixed reaction to the decision to close every school in the county Friday.
“I think too much tension was in the air,” Kenneth Byrd said. “Parents were upset and I just couldn't see students going into school all upset they weren't going to get anything accomplished.”
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