That picture is now being shared throughout the community. It was posted unedited, showing a clear view of the 6-year-old's face with the words "Honey Boo-Boo at Walmart." (Source: Facebook)
Charles Fowler (Source: Walhalla High School's website)
The man accused of posting the picture has been placed on leave from Walhalla High. (March 31, 2014/FOX Carolina)
SENECA, SC (FOX Carolina) -
An Upstate assistant principal has resigned after being accused of cyberbullying a 6-year-old girl.
The kindergartner's family said it all started at the Seneca Walmart, when the young girl's picture was snapped by another customer. They say the man then posted it online to social media as a joke.
That picture is now being shared throughout the community. It was posted unedited, showing a clear view of the 6-year-old's face with the words "Honey Boo-Boo at Walmart."
"I was very shocked to see it's my cousin," said family member Briana Smith. "He wants to put a kid that's 6 years old with health problems out there about her weight and make fun of her? And that's not right."
The girl's family said seeing the likes, reading the comments on the poster's page makes it worse. They say, this is a joke they don't find funny at all. They said the little girl is dealing with health issues related to her weight and now feels very uncomfortable.
"Before she goes out in public, she tries on different outfits because she feels like she's too big," said Smith.
Oconee School Superintendent Dr. Mike Lucas confirmed that Walhalla High School Assistant Principal Charlie Fowler was on administrative leave while personnel issues are being looked into on Monday.
On Tuesday, Lucas said Fowler had resigned.
We were also told by the little girl's family that they plan to talk to the superintendent on Tuesday.
The community seems to be rallying around the little girl, penning an online petition. On it, is a letter to the school district and the Walhalla High School principal, asking them to terminate Fowler.
Even Fowler's son signed the petition, calling his father's actions "unacceptable." His daughter, a teacher herself, scolded him in a comment on his original post. That post has since been removed and Fowler's Facebook page, made private.
The school district released the following statement on Tuesday:
The School District of Oconee County, both in policy and practice, prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any kind. Regrettably, a District employee made an inappropriate posting through social media that included a photograph of one of the District's students. The District does not condone this conduct and the individual who made the inappropriate posting has resigned. Any allegations of harassment, intimidation, or bullying are investigated fully by the District administration and addressed as appropriate. The District sincerely regrets the incident occurred.
FOX did reach out to Fowler, but he has not responded to our request for comment.
Local woman shows support for Assistant Principal
Although many people criticized Fowler for posting the picture on social media, one local woman showed her support for him.
Mother Karen Smith believes Fowler has been a good influence to her son and has helped him in school.
"He was a strong mentor in my son's life, and again, I believe that's why my son is a senior this year because of Mr. Fowler making sure he was on top of his game as far as my sons school work and things like that," Smith told FOX Carolina.
Smith and her son said they don't think Fowler should have resigned, saying he's good at his job and cares about the kids.
Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, March 27 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-03-28 00:56:41 GMT
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