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Jessieville School Leaders Address Superintendent Controversy

The school board accepts its president's resignation and announces support for the superintendent amid controversy over "bullying" allegations.
jESSIEVILLE, AR--The Jessieville school board president resigned after tension over leadership in the district reached what some describe as a record high.

For months, a group of community members have been attending meetings and pushing the board for answers amid allegations the superintendent is intimidating staff and forcing longtime teachers out the door.

"I love this school, this has always been a good place," says Sam Ault, a graduate of Jessieville schools.

Ault is proud of his district's history but not its present state. He's been attending school board meetings on behalf of a group of former employees, blaming dozens of resignations on superintendent Andrew Curry.

"A lot of those who have left are telling me and us they have been bullied and forced out cause they're not wanted here," says Ault.

Monday night his supporters sat just a few seats away from others supporting the superintendent.

Elementary school PTO President Holly Robertson says, "Sometimes people have a hard time adjusting to change and I think that's what's happening here."

Many of their concerns are based on a stack of letters, some signed, some anonymous claiming Curry cursed at teachers and coerced many to resign.

KARK took the allegations to Curry. He denied a request for an on camera interview but told us backstage the claims are false.

However, the drama over Curry's leadership pushed the board president to resign and the board accepted the resignation Monday.

Roberston says the controversy is a major distraction.

"Jessieville is a great community with great schools and great kids. I hope this doesn't mar our reputation," she says.

Especially when both sides say they have they have the same goal.

"My goal is for this school to be quality educational institution it's always been," says Ault.

Some former employees have asked for an ethics investigation. The Department of Education will not confirm or deny if they're looking into it since it's against a specific employee. An attendee provided a letter showing there is an ongoing investigation. The school board opened the meeting with a statement affirming their support of Curry.
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