WARTBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- More than 50 people gathered at Wartburg City Park Sunday afternoon. They said they're upset because Dr. Elizabeth Boyd is Central Middle School's new vice principal - and they don't think it's right.
Their concerns stem from what happened to 5-year-old Lukas Williams, a kindergarten student at Sunbright school. Williams' sister said Dr. Boyd - the principal of Sunbright school - paddled him 8 times for throwing crayons and rocks.
"He was hit really, really hard. He said to us - his exact words that evening was that he was shaking in his shoes. Which to him means that he's running in place because he was hurting so bad," said Rebecca Hall, Williams' sister.
We have pictures of where he was hit, but they're too graphic to show. Dr. Boyd was suspended indefinitely without pay from her job on August 31 because her use of corporal punishment was "unreasonable and excessive", according to a news release from the school system.
"We were all kind of, 'Yay, it's been taken care of', and then it just leaked out that she would be starting tomorrow at Central Middle School," said Jaime Riggs, a concerned parent.
Something upsetting to everyone at the meeting.
"I don't think she should be working with kids. If she can whoop a kindergartener like that, she does not need to be in the school system working with any child," said Wendy Hawn, a concerned parent.
"This just isn't right and we're not going to stand for it," said Hall.
The group discussed contacting school board members and signing petitions, and plans to protest outside Central Middle School and the school system's central office Monday morning.
"I hope it'll send a message to Dr. Diden that you know, he's made a mistake. All we can do is hope that it will - all we can do is try really," said Amanda Robinson, a concerned parent.
The parents said corporal punishment is legal in the school system, but only with parental permission. Lukas Williams' mother said she never signed a permission slip for her son to be paddled and said she's now home schooling him.
Morgan County's Director of Schools Dr. Edd Diden said he'd comment on this story Monday morning.