OAK HILL, Fla. – The Burns Science and Technology Charter School is trying to pick up the pieces after its principal wrote a $100,000 check to who she thought was Elon Musk and later resigned.
As it turns out, it was not Elon Musk. School officials said it was a scam—and this wasn’t the only issue parents and teachers had with the former principal.
Parents cheered during Tuesday night’s board meeting as Dr. Janet McGee resigned from her position.
“At this point, I love this school more than anything else and if it means your administration is going to stay, then I am going to turn in my resignation,” McGee said.
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The school’s board chairman Albert Amalfitano said McGee thought she was communicating with Musk months before she wrote the $100,000 check.
“That money was supposed to be going to this guy who she thought was Elon Musk, and in exchange, somehow (the) $100,000 (gets) you $6 million,” Amalfitano said.
School officials showed us a copy of the check that was made out to who McGee thought was Musk’s right-hand man. The memo reads “matching funds.” Amalfitano believes McGee may have thought Musk was interested in investing $6 million into the school’s space program.
It wasn’t until the bookkeeper noticed a check was missing that it all came to a halt.
“He called the bank, I guess, found out the check was written, and he put the stop payment on the check right away,” Amalfitano said.
Amalfitano told News 6 other people warned McGee they thought this was a scam.
On top of the check debacle, teachers accused McGee of fostering a toxic work environment at the school during Tuesday’s meeting.
“There’s problems, we got issues, and I didn’t know about those issues, and it saddens me because I should know about that, right?” Amalfitano said. “But I didn’t, and it sucks, you know.”
A faculty member said they weren’t sure where the school can go from here, penning a resignation letter in case McGee didn’t.
Parents like Jenny Wessler are relieved that the teachers are still at the school following Tuesday’s meeting. She said she was shocked to find out about the check.
“At first I was in disbelief like I had to see the check and then there was a letter that came out that had this check on it that showed and gave us all the proof that we needed,” Wessler said.
Wessler said she almost pulled her child out of Burns SciTech in light of all of this.
“We were losing the best staff we had at the school,” Wessler said. “They were all telling us, it’s horrible stories about how staff members were bullied, how children were bullied and you just saw this whole school just crumble, like right before our eyes.”
Wessler said she is glad to see an investigation will take place.
“I’m excited to have my daughter here,” Wessler said. “I’m excited for the opportunity she’s going to have. I’m excited to see the smile on the staff’s faces.”
Burns SciTech has already started its national search for a new principal.
Amalfitano said the board is committed to fixing what happened. He said the board will investigate all the claims made against McGee and will discuss how to proceed at the next board meeting on Monday.
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