Superintendent Steve Green announced Clyne was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 27. Since then, he’s not been allowed on school property except for scheduled time to pick up his belongings.
At the time, fliers mounted throughout the school alleged the principal told janitors and security staff at a meeting: “You don’t want to mess with me. I’m a redneck master with a degree. I run these 40 acres!”
- “You literally want to get them out the barrel because they’re the bad apple,” (Jimmy Stokes, executive director for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders) said.
His school district email account basically went dark after Jan. 25, save a few emails asking to be taken off parent message groups where his character was being questioned often. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the emails through an open-records request.
“Please take me off the emails for school council. I’m a bit tired of seeing how quickly folks are running to pile on and, frankly, I think it in incredibly poor taste to continue looping me in on these communications,” he wrote.
In others, he forwarded the announcement of the substitute principal assigned to take his place, and emails supporting and bashing him related to the allegations of racial improprieties.
The last email sent from Clyne’s account was a forward on March 16 on 2016-2017 employment contracts.
When asked by email whether Clyne had completed any work since leaving the school, Chief Communications and Community Relations Officer Eileen Houston-Stewart said: “It is the policy of the district not to comment on personnel matters.”
In early March, DeKalb County School District officials announced Clyne’s resignation. At the time, officials said he would receive assignments from the Office of Legal Affairs until his contract ended on June 30.
After Clyne’s resignation, the district disclosed an investigative report that showed about a dozen other infractions during his time as principal, including two others from the 2015-2016 school year.
Investigations found Clyne made unauthorized grade changes for students, allowed parent volunteers to use his computer log-in to access and update student records and made racial and discriminatory comments about black people to an assistant principal, among other things. Some investigations had never reached a conclusion.
The Anti-Defamation League worked with students and teachers at the school after Clyne’s dismissal, hoping to create a culture that resists hate in schools, district officials said. Neither the district or Anti-Defamation League officials would comment on the work done at the school.
Education leaders say it’s common for administrators on leave from their jobs not to do any work, saying they often are quarantined as contracts run out. Many take this route to avoid having due-process hearings, said Jimmy Stokes, executive director for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.
“If you assign people work during that time, what are you going to do if they don’t do it?” he said. “You’re already going to (terminate) them.”
Stokes said simply saying a person will be allowed to be paid for the duration of his or her contract leaves officials open to criticisms from people who don’t understand the cause.
“You literally want to get them out the barrel because they’re the bad apple,” he said. “You put them on administrative leave so they won’t be around and continue to do the things that got them there in the first place. And you’re doing it with the least amount of public disruption.”