Principal remained on payroll months after receiving termination letter

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 7:05 PM EDT|Updated: May. 8, 2023 at 7:13 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A former Charleston County school principal who was terminated eight months ago remained on the payroll up until last week.

Carolyn Anderson, the former principal of Septime P. Clark Academy, was placed on administrative leave for inappropriate behavior almost one year ago. The decision to place her on leave followed an internal investigation that found she frequently made comments of a sexual nature using explicit language.

Nearly eight months ago, in August, she received her termination letter that accused her of unprofessional conduct. In the Aug. 1 letter, Charleston County Superintendent Don Kennedy also accused her of demeaning staff members and using personally insulting language.

“Specifically, the report indicates that over the course of this past school year you regularly made inappropriate remarks directly to staff members. I have reviewed your pattern of behavior, which is in violation of policies of the Board of Trustees, and have decided to recommend the termination of your employment with the Charleston County School District,” the letter, signed by Kennedy, stated. “You were openly critical of your assistant principal, stating publicly that you had never wanted her to be selected for that position.”

The letter also stated her “lack of professionalism” had been demonstrated in video footage of the front office.

“The District has lost confidence in your ability to perform your duties in a professional manner,” the letter stated.

But Clark remained on the payroll. After receiving a notice of termination, she requested a hearing to appeal the decision. Anderson’s attorney, Edward Pritchard, said at the time they received the letter that they “vehemently disagree with the baseless allegations.”

That hearing was held on March 10 and the Charleston County School Board received a termination recommendation.

The board approved the recommendation, officially terminating Anderson and removed her from the payroll.

District records state she earned about $125,000 per year and made that salary for almost the entire year she remained on administrative leave.