QUARTZSITE, AZ - A piece of shocking cell phone video has turned an Arizona school into the talk of the town.
Students at Quartzsite’s Scholar’s Academy captured their principal kissing and fondling the school secretary. City officials say the video shows Principal Steve McClenning making out with Billie Madewell.
Numerous parents, students, and residents told ABC15 the two are both married to different people. What has parents most upset, however, is that the intimate kissing session happened during classes.
Due to the sexual nature of the video, ABC15 cut out some of the more graphic moments.
Scholar’s Academy student Myranda Garber was in class with others when they heard something going on in the room next to them. She said they could see two pairs of feet in through a small hole near the floor. When she took out her cell phone camera and used the small device to see closer, she was shocked.
“We saw their legs, so we knew something was going on, but I never thought I would see it personally,” Garber said. “It was crazy.”
The charter school is not firing McClenning or Madewell. The two instead resigned in an impromptu meeting Wednesday. The resignations take effect June 30. Parents told ABC15 they want immediate and serious action.
“Dismiss them both,” mother Cindy Jones said. “It’s not OK, what they did. If they resign, that’s a privilege. They can go to another school and this will never be on their record. No. I don’t like that at all. That’s just telling the kids it’s okay.”
Students of Scholar’s Academy told ABC15 they feel betrayed and let down, but still love their school.
“It’s just a smack in the face as far as I’m concerned,” student Joseph Hager said.
The school is having trouble and currently is not getting its charter school status renewed. Hager said he went to the Charter School Board hearing to support Scholar’s Academy.
"Principal McClenning, he’s been like a father to us, to me for the past four years,” Hager said. “For something like this to happen, I won’t support it.”
With Scholar’s Academy’s charter status not being renewed, many in the town believe Quartzsite will not have a school next year. The school has appealed the decision to the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.
Quartzsite Police Department investigated the incident and has since turned it over to the La Paz County Attorney’s Office. ABC15 has learned the Arizona State Board of Education is also looking into the intimate classroom encounter.
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