WEDOWEE, Ala. — A principal suspended after he threatened to ban mixed-race couples from the high school prom was reinstated Thursday by the school board.
The board overrode the recommendation of the county school superintendent in its 4-2 vote to reinstate Hulond Humphries as principal of Randolph County High School.
A white member of the Randolph County School Board, Joe Belue, resigned immediately after joining the lone black member of the panel in voting to fire Humphries.
Belue said that he felt the board had made "a pretty strong judgment error."
The black board member, Charlotte Clark-Frieson, left hurriedly after the vote without comment.
Humphries, 55, who is white, was suspended by the Randolph County School Board March 14 after he allegedly told a mixed-race student that she was a "mistake" and threatened to stop the prom if interracial dates showed up.
Humphries, who has been principal for 25 years, did not attend Thursday night's meeting. He was expected back at work Monday.
Humphries' wife answered the phone at his home and said: "His lawyer told him not to have any comment."
Students said Humphries told them during a high school assembly on Feb. 24 that he did not want mixed-race couples at the prom. Humphries has said his remarks were taken out of context.
ReVonda Bowen, 16, who has a white father and a black mother, said she asked Humphries: "Who am I supposed to take to the prom?"
She said he responded: "That's just it. Your mom and dad made a mistake having you as a mixed child."
Bowen reportedly burst into tears at the remark. Humphries said he tried to apologize to her.
Bowen, president of a student group planning the prom, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Humphries and the board. She was not at the board meeting and a telephone message left at her home was not returned.