East Wake Academy headmaster fired

March 28, 2012 9:00:00 PM PDT
The East Wake Academy School Board has fired an administrator accused of sexually harassing two female employees.

The board of directors made the decision to fire Brandon Smith Thursday evening. The decision came after meeting behind closed doors for more than an hour.

An attorney for the Zebulon-based school said Smith was an instrumental leader, but board members decided it was the school's best decision to go in a different direction.

It's the latest development in a scandal that began when an East Wake Academy employee claimed she was a victim of unwanted sexual advances by Smith, according to police search warrants.

Smith has denied the allegations and has not been charged in the alleged incidents.

Some parents disagree with the school board's decision and stand by Smith.

"East Wake will suffer for the loss of Brandon Smith," Charlotte Kelly said. "I'm going to keep supporting him because I know what he is and I know who he is and he didn't deserve this."

Other parents who spoke to ABC11 agreed with the board's decision.

It's unclear what the next step is, but the board is expected to meet again Tuesday.

It's not the first time Smith has faced a similar allegation.

According to court documents obtained by ABC11, a former chorus teacher at Githens Middle School in Durham filed a lawsuit against the Durham County Board of Education and Smith in 2001 alleging he repeatedly harassed her beginning in 1998 when he was principal at the school. The two sides reached a confidential agreement and the case was dismissed.

Smith became headmaster at East Wake Academy in 2002.

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