Jerry Mayes

Gerald "Jerry" Mayes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former duPont Manual High School Principal Jerry Mayes will not contest his demotion, instead opting to retire from Jefferson County Public Schools, the district announced Wednesday.

Mayes, whose retirement takes effect June 30, was demoted after an investigation into racially insensitive comments he made to students in his office in October 2017. That investigation found various other instances in which Mayes made inappropriate comments, using terms like “wigger” and “Indian giver.”

At one point, investigators found that he complained about the way a black girl was dressed for a performance at Youth Performing Arts School, telling an employee that it looked “like a National Geographic photo shoot.”

Mayes had contested his demotion, with the first of a four-day hearing schedule set to begin Thursday. The district said in a statement that “the matter has been settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties” and that neither JCPS nor Mayes would provide additional comment.

Mayes’s comments to students who met in his office were met with immediate backlash. In a recording provided to WDRB News, Mayes took issue with kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at football games, criticized the work of JCPS Chief Equity Officer John Marshall and likened discrimination he said he faced as a Protestant youth to discrimination against African Americans.

Manual students protested his comments, and some took their grievances to the Jefferson County Board of Education during its meetings.

After his reassignment in July, Mayes, who made $152,637 as principal, threatened to sue the district unless he was reinstated to his old position.

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