Parents complain about disciplining of Morgan County principal

Parents complain about disciplining of Morgan County principal for paddling incident

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"I don't think a single mistake should cause somebody to lose their job or end their career," Dr. Edd Diden said. "I don't think a single mistake should cause somebody to lose their job or end their career," Dr. Edd Diden said.
"I was hoping that Dr. Diden would show me and my family a little bit of respect," Sandra Hall said. "I was hoping that Dr. Diden would show me and my family a little bit of respect," Sandra Hall said.
"It's our responsibility to pick up the slack," Mike Riggs said. "It's our responsibility to pick up the slack," Mike Riggs said.

WARTBURG (WATE) - Morgan County School Board members heard Tuesday from parents who are upset that an administrator remains in the system after being charged with child abuse in a paddling incident.

Parents are also upset with Director of Schools Dr. Edd Diden, who some say "dropped the ball." 

Dr. Penny Boyd was reassigned as principal of Sunbright Elementary School to an assistant principal at Wartburg Central Middle School.

She is accused of paddling a child so hard the child's mother says her son was left with bruises.

Boyd was booked Monday on a charge of child abuse in the case.

Despite parent protests, the school superintendent says firing Boyd would be an overreaction.

Dr. Diden told board members at their Tuesday night workshop that he feels punishment for Dr. Boyd has been appropriate.

She made a serious mistake, he said, but not one that is a career killer.

"I don't think a single mistake should cause somebody to lose their job or end their career," Diden said. 

Upset parents may disagree with that assessment, but Tuesday night their ire was directed mostly toward Diden. He was described as both arrogant and out of touch.

Sandra Hall is the mother of the child who was paddled, said she expected much more from Diden.

"I was hoping that Dr. Diden would show me and my family a little bit of respect instead of continuing to ignore us and be arrogant and treat us like he has," Hall said. "It took 17 days for him to talk to me about my son."

Other parents sided with Hall.

"This child has obviously had something wrong done to him and it appears from this meeting that the superintendent is not taking this seriously," Mike Riggs said. "It's our responsibility to pick up the slack and he's dropped the ball and I'm here to see that it's picked up.

While not answering the criticism directly, Diden pointed to his own frustration and to the board's at not being able to discuss the issue more openly.

"Many members of the board are frustrated because I've been advised by an attorney to say very little about the details of this case because of the due process of the proceedings so that makes it frustrating for everybody, including me," Diden said.

The Morgan County School Board meets again in late October.  It meets in regular session on November 6.

Penny Boyd is scheduled to appear in court on December 20.

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