A high school principal in South Carolina has removed an extensive collection of mounted African animals from the walls of his office after a small outcry from town residents.
Summerville High School Principal Buddy Chapel told the Post and Courier Monday that he had removed the hunting trophies after the school district received letters from two angry town residents.
Dorchester District 2 leaders said Chapel was told about the complaints and removed the animals without any directive from the board.
A mounted lion, several antelopes, wildebeests and other animals filled every wall in his office.
The collection of animals generated controversy after it was featured in a Jan. 19 story in the Post and Courier. Two letters urged school officials to remove the animals.
Chapel said he told students when he first came to the school last fall that if the animals offended them, he would meet with them elsewhere. He said students generally thought the collection was cool.
“They have a great time,” he said. “It’s like a big zoo for them. It hasn’t freaked any kids out that I know about.”
One of the townspeople, Alison Harvey, who was offended by the display, said she was glad to see the animals gone.
“When there are so many controversial issues that students and teachers aren’t allowed to discuss in a public school setting, why would something as controversial as this be permitted?” she said.
Marian Martin, a Charleston County teacher, wrote the second letter against the animals on display.
“What message is he sending those kids?” she said Monday. “I just thought it was outrageous that he had all of that in his office. It’s just in your face. I just don’t think it has a place in the public school setting.”
Photo: Dave Munday, Post and Courier