August 15, 2013
In the middle of a small controversy surrounding her alleged conduct with students, Fluvanna Middle School's new principal met with angry parents face-to-face Thursday night.
Parents filled the school's media center demanding answers after the school year got off to a rocky start. Calls and emails have poured into school leaders claiming Dr. Yardley Farquharson is a bully, screamer and simply too strict.
"She's different, and I don't think the kids are used to that here," said middle school parent April Burton.
Thursday was Farquharson's chance to set the record straight. The principal says many of the rumors swirling around the county are not true. Getting a chance to clear the air has helped her earn a fresh start with some.
"The people who were the most vocal were actually the people who came up to me afterwards to say, 'You know, I'm sorry. I sent you that text and I realized, you know, I'm ready to move forward. It's fine. I understand,'" said Farquharson.
Some parents who were initially upset over the situation say, after meeting with Farquharson, they are willing to give her another shot.
"I think she deserves it. This is a very smart woman with a really good background in education, and we need to give her a second chance," said Kerry Murphy-Hammond. "Let's monitor it. Let's keep a close eye on it, but we've all made mistakes. Let's forgive and move on."
School leaders and parents agreed that not all issues were addressed Thursday evening. Farquharson says she's willing to meet with parents one-on-one to get them resolved.
Meanwhile, she's confident the rest of the school year will move in the right direction. One of her goals is getting the school fully accredited.
"These teachers are phenomenal. I mean, they are phenomenal. Absolutely. And with a staff like I have, nothing but the best is possible," said Farquharson.