Hundreds of students gathered outside Beaufort High School this morning in protest of principal Dan Durbin’s resignation and to show their support for Durbin.
Durbin announced Wednesday he was resigning after almost nine years at the school. Today is his last day at Beaufort High.
Durbin changed 200 grades for 33 students over the course of about two years. All of the students are still enrolled in school, superintendent Valerie Truesdale said.
Several hundred students attended a rally this morning. The school’s drum line played while students chanted, “We want Durbin!” or simply, “Durbin!”
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Students held up signs to show their support for the principal, and once they were told to enter the school, many sat on the floor and refused to move. They dispersed, however, after Durbin told them to go to class. The protest started at about 7:30 a.m. and ended at about 8 a.m.
“I’m sad and angry,” said sophomore Molly Clark. “He’s a great guy. He always does what’s best for kids.”
Durbin has said he was trying to help motivate students by changing their grades after they put extra effort into a course or proved they knew the material.
“I hope the message I sent students was that you’re not just a number,” he said Thursday. “If you try hard and work hard, we’ll work with you.”
Durbin urged the students to make his last day at the school peaceful. He told them to get to class and to not act like the school could not go on with out him.
“It can’t!” someone shouted from the crowd.
Donna Pine, a parent of a senior and a sophomore at the school, was collecting parents’ and teens’ signatures in support of Durbin keeping his job. She said she’s gathered about 300 so far, and she plans to take them to school district officials.
“Obviously we’d like to keep him permanently,” Pine said. “The seniors feel strongly about having him finish the school year. ... There’s no reason for a mid-school-year change. That’s not beneficial to students, which is what he’s all about.”Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.