Chattooga County superintendent, school board member resign after decision to move school back to five days a week

Chattooga County Superintendent Jimmy Lenderman {CQ} speaks with the Times Free Press in his Summerville, Ga., office on Thursday, April 26, 2012. Chattooga County, Ga., has adopted a four-day school week, and teachers, students and administrators say they prefer the shorter week. The county has also taken on other cost-cutting measures, like reducing the amount of electricity used and being more mindful about seemingly minor spending.

Chattooga County Schools Superintendent Jimmy Lenderman told the board of education in an email today that he is stepping down.

"Recently, I have seen a caustic relationship develop between the board of education members and the community," he wrote. "In addition, some have come to me and stated that it could be interpreted that they are bullies. Again, I wish I could stay but I do not want to be associated with this deteriorating culture."

Lenderman's decision comes a day after school board member John Turner walked out during a work session and announced he would quit. Both have been upset since mid-January, when the district's four other members voted to return schools to Mondays. Since 2010, the school district has only held classes four days a week.

Lenderman, who has been superintendent since 2011, argued that the schedule saves the district money on utilities, bus fuel and non-certified employees.