Madison school board members uphold vote to transfer popular principal in heated meeting

Three-hundred students walked out of class. Hundreds more protested with parents.

It's been a volatile month for the Madison Consolidated School system. And on Wednesday, the school board upheld its decision to get rid of a popular principal, fueling the community's frustration that's been building over the past month. 

"This, tonight, is adding to the chaos," parent Jennifer Dew said.

Wednesday's meeting was the first since the controversial vote to transfer Madison High School principal Kevin Yancey.

"We don't want people like (Superintendent Dr. Ginger Bolinger)," student Skylar Lee said. "We want people like Mr. Yancey."

Parents and students wore T-shirts with bold words, "Fire Bolinger," the district's superintendent. 

"The school system is in disrepair, and it's been getting steadily worse," parent Erin Holler said. "It's just being ran into the ground by our superintendent."

In a surprise move, board member Rob Kring, who voted against Yancey's transfer last month, asked the board to re-vote. Board members, again, voted 3-2 to transfer Yancey. 

Many in the crowd booed.

"Two of the board members are speaking on our behalf. They're fighting for our kids. And they're fighting for our community," Dew said. "The other three are not."

When asked if he'll stay with the district, Yancey said his options are still open. 

"In a democracy, you have to be patient, and you might not get what you want," he said. "But over time, I think if the people speak, things do change."

Bolinger said she's not blind to the community's rage.

"We want them to be passionate," she said. "It's unfortunate that I'm the one in the middle of this, but I do make difficult decisions and recommendations. The board ultimately approves those recommendations, or they don't approve those recommendations."

Yancey will remain principal through the 2016-16 school year and said he's thankful for the community's support.

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