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Topsail parents speak out in support of suspended principal

READ MORE: Topsail parents speak out in support of suspended principal
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BURGAW, NC (WWAY)-- Parents of Topsail High School students came before the Pender County Board of Education Monday night begging for answers about the school's former leader.

Back in June, Marcus Skipper was reassigned to Cape Fear Middle School. The Pender County Board of Education then reversed that decision and brought him back to Topsail High. Now he is no longer there and parents want to know why.

"Our board of education doesn't know what's going on with our principal," said Rhonda Schwarz, a Topsail parent. "We were coming here tonight to try and find out. We went into the room and were told we could not speak about a position, a person, a specific incident, nothing. I had signed up to speak on behalf of our children and was refused to be allowed to speak and I really don't think it's fair."

Skipper was suspended in late October with pay. When WWAY tried to find out why we did not get much of an answer. Temporary Superintendent Rachel Manning had no comment, others had similar reaction.

"The only thing I can say at this point is that it's a personnel issue and we cannot discuss it," said Katherine Herring, Pender County Board of Education Chair."That's all I can say. Sorry."

Topsail High School is a North Carolina School of Excellence. Many parents believe Skipper is the reason why. The students are supporting their principal as well with over 400 likes on the "Keep Mr. Skipper" Facebook page.

"I do think that there are some issues with the front office and I'm hoping that the new superintendent, when he comes in, will clean house and start over because I do think there are some issues there," said Laurie Peregoy, another Topsail parent.

At the end of Monday's meeting the board discussed personnel issues including the filling of a music position at Topsail High. Parents say that the vacancy has caused a few days where students were in the class without any supervision at all. The situation surrounding Mr. Skipper was not touched on.

"Any child, high school student, freshman to senior, they look up to this man and he's not there," said Schwarz. "They don't know where to go."

The board told parents Monday that they will get a written response at an appropriate time about the issue.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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This guy shouldn't be back. Get him back out then deal with the trickle effect which has already damaged things. Currently, south elementary has drug charges against a second grade teacher, north elementary staff doesn't know the difference between up and down. I have personally been able to access both schools without any intervention from anyone. As for the middle school: I have been dealing with an intern for 2 days instead of someone with any experience (even yesterday I was in and out, wrote in a log book, whatever I wanted, and NOONE took any notice; This is AFTER I took my child off the property with no checks made upon me, and no documentation of the pickup). I personally have 8 years experience in this system, which is more than a lot of the employees I come across; especially vice principals. Just get these people out of here. I have no support for this man, or this school system.

It's time to get a real leader at THS.

What would happen to a student at THS if they were insubordinate to their teacher? Disobeyed a superior? Did not follow protocols? They would immediately be suspended. There would be consequences!!Skipper got what he deserved. He is unaccountable and arrogant! He is NOT a positive role model for our kids, he does NOT provide strong, clear leadership for our school, he does not communicate and uphold an expectation for excellence for our teachers and students, he does not model excellence, Skipper does not hold teachers accountable to high standards of rigor and best practices. It is time to leave all the Skipper drama behind and bring in a real leader that will take our school to greatness. THS can be so much better. Skipper is NOT the person that can take us to that greatness.

MR. MARCUS SKIPPER, PRINCIPAL, THS

To to previous comment... ARE YOU DELUSIONAL????... WHAT PLANET DO YOU LIVE ON???

Skipper is a loser and must go! Bring us a real leader

We moved to Hampstead because we had heard how good the schools were. Now that we are here, we hear about how good the schools used to be. Skipper and the Pender County BOE have failed us. Skipper is a spineless fool, is NOT a leader at all, and needs to get his backside out of a chair and into classrooms..........monitoring instruction and holding teachers to a higher standard. The education our students are getting is a joke! This failure by the THS staff is on his shoulders. Test scores mean nothing and to compare our scores with others in NC is NOT the standard. Best practices are not embraced, laziness and lack of accountability reign. There are significant problems at THS and Skipper turns a blind eye, does not return emails, and clearly does not want to step up and be a real leaders. Loser. Skipper needs to go. Bring us a real leader who is a person of character, who has a strong work ethic, and who knows what success looks like and wants to get us there.

Skipper must go!!!

The truth is, Top Sail High School is a shadow of what it used to be. There is clearly a lack of accountability at the school. Rigor has decreased, teachers are unaccountable, Skipper is useless. Bring us someone who is a genuine leader, instructional leaders, and person of deep character...................all qualities Mr. Skipper does not have. He is useless. Mr. Skipper must go!!!!

Mr. Skipper should stay at

Mr. Skipper should stay at THS! Is it true there's going to be a protest at THS today @ 12:30pm? I want to know, as a parent, if this is true, I plan on being there!

Pender County Board of Education

I think that maybe our BOE should open their eyes and their ears and remember what they promised the taxpayers when they were elected.... To listen to the community and have a more open policy to come to them and voice their ideas and concerns. Karen Gonzales you are our only voice from Hampstead and you ran on this platform and that commitment should be in the best interest of all of our board members. It is your responsibility Karen Gonzales, Kenneth Lanier, Tom Roper, Karen Rouse and Catherine Herring to come to Topsail High School and speak to the staff, to the students and to the parents and make decisions of your own. Please do not let one person, an interim employee make such decisions without speaking to all who are truly involved. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR CHILDREN TO HEAR THE VOICES OF TOPSAIL HIGH. PLEASE LISTEN. And, one more thing to put some icing on the cake, if Mr Skipper is so bad as the leader of our school then why have some of your children gone to our high school instead of the district that you live in? I, as well as others would love to hear your response.

Honestly the only reason,

Honestly the only reason, this story has become so big is because its Topsail where all of the rich folks are, if this were to happen at Pender High or Heide Trask it would have been kept under raps. The school system gives everything to Topsail, first being that Heide Trask was never completely finished being built because the county was in a rush to build the new school in Topsail not caring about the other parts of the county and Pender High needs renovation. The school board needs to worry about that. The parents talking about the students don't have no one to look up to what about the students parents shouldn't they be someone they look up to. That stuff you all are saying is bogus.

Apparently you have never

Apparently you have never been to a topsail school. The only reason that topsail received a new high school and there was a "rush" was because not only was there black mold found in the high school years back but there were over 900 kids in a school built for 450.. There were over 8 trailers that the students would have to use as a classroom. Topsail High School did not ever have financial support fr basically the last 20 years up until about 4 years ago. They receive little to no funding for their sports programs and didn't even have a real athletic department or training facility. They shared the football field with he middle school, the gym with them as well, and the drama class was held in a trailer for Christ's sake. Topsail High School finally received the funding it had been needing for over 15 years to build a new school. As far as Pender and Heidi Trask go, look at all of the funding they receive for the school in general and more specifically, their athletic department. As a graduate of Topsail, I find that comment very insulting, if you had ever even visited the high school in the last 15 years you would have been able to see the condition it was in. The students alone deserve enough room that they do not have to go to class in a trailer. Sorry Trask didn't get it's new football stadium before students had a real classroom. Your comment was all around ignorant and juvenile.

Marcus Skipper

Bring back Mr Skipper NOW!! Our kids need him!

It's time to do something.

It's time to do something. If Skipper needs to be fired, fire him. If he doesn't, let him come back. This limbo is bad for everybody. What happened to doing what's best for the children. I personally want him back....but something needs to be done one way or the other.

No communication!

While I would love to see Mr. Skipper reinstated as soon as possible, the bigger issue is the complete lack of communication from the Board of Ed regarding the cause for all of this. In my opinion immediate suspension would only be appropriate in a case where students were in immediate danger or actions were criminal and if that is the parents certainly deserve an explanation by now. I don't think this is the case because I've heard through the grape vine it was based on insubordination stemming from a disagreement with Manning. And due to the tight lipped stance of the Board of Ed that's all I have to go on. Like another person said I will back Skipper until I hear something to make me feel otherwise. Just remember people Board of Ed members are elected and they should remember that as well!

Mr. Skipper is our Principle!! GET OVER IT!!!

The Pender county Board of education needs to be clean out as well as the Pender county administrative staff. They are carrying on the witch hunt that started with the former Superintendant, Manning was groomed and cloned and now is trying to prove that she is just as uneducated and unprofessional as her predecessor. They the Pender county board of Education and the DOE don’t want THS to succeed at the rate at which it is because it makes them look bad. Because they have nothing to do with the success at THS. The school constantly out performs most others in the state and county. With the exception of the Ted Kaniuka/Bobby Hudspeth Debacle years. THS is and will be a School of Distinction. The community needs to maintain the pressure on the school board and demand Skippers return or we need to look at the separation of Pender County into two counties. Vote these individuals OUT they have screwed with our school and our students since Dr Sosne. They have proven they are incapable of school management and have multiple hidden agendas. The time has come for a change.

I, too, have been a supporter UNTIL...

I found out what really happended and it has broken my heart. I have had three children go through THS and have always felt they were safe and well cared for. However, when a substitute doesn't do what's supposed to be done and the Principal doesn't find it important enough to handle, it's disappointing. Especially when a child was in danger. Days, weeks went by. If it was about an athletic event, band concert, or something these white country club wannabe's find important, it would have been addressed. But, The Skipper, as you all call him, chose to do nothing. I hear all of you being upset because your well-off kids are SO disappointed that their Principal (or "Principle" as the one calling others uneducated wrote) is not there and how that's just SO devastating. But, what if your child was left ignored and could have been seriously injured or worse. You would think he would care enough to just ask the staff what happended. Have you ever wondered if he only "served" those of you who believe you're calling the shots anyway? Ask around. Better yet, ask Skipper what happened. Or, are you afraid to know the truth. Moral of the story... know what you are talking about before you embarrass the rest of us parents with your misguided confidence. Just hush about it or talk with your legislators about the confidentiality of school staff issues. Anyone with any sense knows not to yell at a local official for following laws made at state and federal levels. The more I write, the more embarrassed I am about the possibility of being linked up with you all. Instead of acting like a bully in front of my children, I'm going to use this opportunity to discuss with them how we all need to be accountable for our actions...whether we get caught or not. PS...wouldn't it be crazy if THS wasn't such an academically strong school since the parent involvment and income ranges are stronger than others??? Sadly, modeling how to bully has just as much impact on our kids, but in the other direction.

Come On Now

@ THS supporter…if you are correct with your exclusive knowledge of this issue, to me this would dictate a suspension with no pay. I have to believe there is more to this than what you are alleging and that it is being managed horribly by our school board and interim superintendent. You speak of children in danger. The band practices during zero hour (7:00AM). Unfortunately, there was no staff there several days ago, due to the dismissal of the interim band director. This happened after Mr. Skipper was suspended.

And then you speak of morality. You mentioned how you are going to speak with your children about being accountable for our actions. Yet, you throw a racial comment in your opinion. You have to admit, that was the wrong thing to bring up in this blog. I can say with 100% conviction that my children and many of the children that are raised in this generation DO NOT see color. So, let’s leave race out of this and focus on the true issue, which is we need Mr. Skipper back at Topsail High School.

You almost had me fooled...

...into believing you were an intelligent person with the ability to convey rational thinking until your racist attitude was displayed in your writing by stating, "... or something these white country club wannabe's find important, it would have been addressed."

THAT statement was completely uncalled for and totally denegrated every point you tried to make! You have done a most excellent job of making a total A$$ out of yourself AND YOUR people. You can go play this undeserved racial crap with the great revs Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They will fall right into it with pomp and vigor, but to us you simply sound ignorant, uneducated and have a huge chip on your shoulder! Nobody even wants support of people with your sort of negative thinking and attitude. It's called being "COUNTERPRODUCTIVE"!

Topsail High School

I take offense to your comments, we as parents went to that meeting to find out what happened. If Mr. Skipper has done something to the magnitude you are referencing then why wasn't he fired immediately? Our questions were out of concern for all the students and staff. However, if you or I cannot go to our elected officials that govern our school administrators with our questions than where or what are we supposed to do. I was on the agenda last night to talk about a very important situation regarding the safety of our children and was DENIED the opportunity to share my couple minutes to share this information. Now, what if my child was left unsafe and I needed to alert my board. Well guess what???? I had previously advised both the Board and the offices of the Pender County schools and I have yet to be acknowledged. And by the way money doesn't make you smart, it doesn't make your skin white nor do I belong to a Country Club. But I am a parent and a taxpayer and I hope and PRAY that when these board members come up for election they are gone and people will be elected that will STAND UP and listen to the people.

Topsail High School

I take offense to your comments, we as parents went to that meeting to find out what happened. If Mr. Skipper has done something to the magnitude you are referencing then why wasn't he fired immediately? Our questions were out of concern for all the students and staff. However, if you or I cannot go to our elected officials that govern our school administrators with our questions than where or what are we supposed to do. I was on the agenda last night to talk about a very important situation regarding the safety of our children and was DENIED the opportunity to share my couple minutes to share this information. Now, what if my child was left unsafe and I needed to alert my board. Well guess what???? I had previously advised both the Board and the offices of the Pender County schools and I have yet to be acknowledged. And by the way money doesn't make you smart, it doesn't make your skin white nor do I belong to a Country Club. But I am a parent and a taxpayer and I hope and PRAY that when these board members come up for election they are gone and people will be elected that will STAND UP and listen to the people.

THS supporter??

Sadly, your post is embarrassing. Don't worry, you won't be accused of being "linked up" with the supporters of Mr. Skipper because the families I know at THS are nothing like you. Bullying is what comes to my mind when I read your post about "well-off kids" and "white country club wannabes". The moral of the story...you really don't know the truth. Don't forget what they taught you in kindergarten, there are two sides to every story.

Wrong on so many levels...

Obviously THS supporter you didn't get the right information since your post is wrong on so many levels. Also you are asking us to go directly and ask Skipper what happened. So are you telling us you did and he is the one who told you what happened? There is no way you did because those of us that actually HAVE talked to him know that you are off base...

Like With Hugh McManus. and Bill White!

They are trying to dictate what happens at our school and that just is not how it is going to go down!

Principal Skipper

My family moved to Hampstead because of Topsail High School. We wanted the best education for our children. The Pender County BOE and Rachel Manning have failed us. Our children are the ones suffering because of Principal Skipper's suspension. He is a leader and mentor for our children, he has not done anything wrong. It's very sad that others cannot look at Topsail High School and learn from how well the school is run. You have a hard working and dedicated group of staff, students and parents creating a wonderful learning environment for children. Mr. Skipper belongs at Topsail High School. As a Pender County BOE member said in June, reinstating Principal Skipper "is the right thing to do". It broke my heart when my daughter said yesterday, "Mom, I thought I saw Mr. Skipper coming around the corner at school today. Then I remembered that he is gone, it made me so sad."

Marcus Skipper

I was present to this 'open' meeting and it was immediately made clear that the board not only would not discuss any specific person or position, if a comment or question was made about a specific person or position, the speaker would be dismissed. They tied the hands of the parents at the onset of the meeting.

How to parents of these students get any answers about the state of the school of which they send their children if they can't go to directly to the school or the board of education? These are our kids! It's a public school funded with my tax money! We deserve answers.

That is a sorry excuse for a board of education!!! Each of them should be horribly ashamed!!

skipper

We love and support you skipper hope you come back soon,
the kids want you back. You are a good person and good
principle.

If he were back

He would grade your post a "F." How about principal instead?

okay, but I still support

okay, but I still support him and the kids do too. How do you like that?

Doesn't matter to me

I don't like or dislike it either way.