Community Shows Support NPHS Principal
January 26, 2018
Contributed by Emily McMichael and Tyler Reed
In hopes of finding an answer as to why Principal Clete Edmunson had allegedly been forced to resign on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, students, families, teachers, employees, and the news gathered outside the district office at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 17th.
Shortly after the crowd of about 100 gathered, they were let into the district building. Many students and parents started recording as soon as the doors were opened. Jessica Charlton gave the board members a letter in support of Mr. Edmuson, signed by fellow peers. The board members received two more student letters and took turns reading each letter before the meeting began.
The crowd started to become anxious as the time to start the meeting drew closer. Superintendent Kevin Barker finally walked in at 5:59 p.m. and the board started the meeting with the pledge of allegiance before dismissing the public as the board went into executive session. White lead the group of protesters and supporters in a chant and then into a loud and proud version
of New Plymouth’s fight song. Students filmed, took pictures, and even lived streamed on social media to get the word out about this event.
After the song died out and people gathered together closely for warmth, Mr. Edmunson showed up and gave the crowd a few words. Mr. Edmunson said he was proud of the New Plymouth Pilgrims standing up for him and it means the world to him that so many in the community have come to fight for him. He also told the crowd that if they were willing to fight for him, he would fight too and that sent supporters into a loud cheer. Mr. Edmunson left shortly after and the crowd continued to wait.
Around 7:30 p.m. a board member came to the door and opened it, letting everyone back in to hear the final decision. The crowd quickly filed into the small district office building. Cameras immediately started rolling and phones were all direct on Barker. Chairman Dave Brogan read the verdict: Mr. Edmunson would be put on administrative leave with pay, citing a parental complaint and “other matters,” pending an investigation.
Unfortunately, the students and community are not satisfied with this outcome and continue to wait for a better explanation and answer.