Karen Carl, the principal of Free Home Elementary School in Cherokee County, Georgia, is in hot water with some parents after she blocked an emergency exit with her Jeep by parking it under a school awning to protect the car from hail during a storm.
Aimee Miller, a parent who has a child at the school, sent a photo of the vehicle to Fox 5 News. "She jeopardized the safety of our students to protect her vehicle which to me is not the type of principal I want running the school,” Miller said.
Parent Jenny Gilreath agreed. “I think it's unfortunate when someone puts a material possession above the safety of our children and that kind of appears to be what happened,” she told WSBTV.
Cherokee Counties Fire and Emergency Services said it didn’t issue a citation, but it is working with the school district, which is investigating the incident. "It's a good wake up call for everyone to understand why we ask people to stay clear of fire lanes because there is that possibility something serious could happen," said Tim Cavendar, spokesman for the Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services.
Cherokee County Schools didn’t say if any disciplinary action would be taken against Carl, but a representative said, “The issue has been addressed with the principal and we can assure parents it will not occur again."
Miller thinks that isn’t enough. "I think she needs to be fired, I don't trust her with my children,” she said.
Other parents believe the controversy isn’t warranted. "I don't think she should lose her job for that. I understand the parking is wrong but the truth remains our kids are getting a great education at (Free Home),” Stella Nwabuko, who has two children at the school, told Fox 5 News.
Parent Ken Lightsey agreed. “Today you're actually here about an episode that has been blown out of proportion and does not truly represent what our principal is or who she is,” he said.