Carencro Middle School principal Spurgeon Banyard’s plan to step down this summer has changed in the wake of a second suspension of his certification to teach in Louisiana.
Last week, Banyard submitted his resignation — effective June 17 — saying he was “tired of negativity.” On Wednesday, Lafayette Parish Schools assistant human resources director Suzanne Thibodeaux confirmed that Banyard resigned effective Tuesday.
The decision to leave sooner came one day after the state Department of Education acted to suspend Banyard’s teaching certification, marking the second time in recent weeks that it has been suspended.
The second suspension of Banyard’s certificate was related to a felony on his criminal record, Louisiana Department of Education spokesman Barry Landry told KATC-TV3.
On March 10, Banyard’s certification was suspended, but it was reinstated the next day after he submitted paperwork to the Louisiana Department of Education. At the time, Banyard said he straightened out allegations that he had a criminal record, but would not comment further about those allegations.
Court records from Hinds County, Mississippi, showed that Banyard was convicted in 1998 of embezzlement related to $541. Last month, Banyard would not comment on the conviction, but told The Acadiana Advocate that the charge had been expunged. Landry told KATC that he was unaware if Banyard’s recent suspension was related to the embezzlement conviction.
In an interview with KATC-TV3 following his announcement that he planned to resign this summer, Banyard said he was “tired of negativity” and “individuals trying to defame my character.”
“I’m trying to do what’s best for me and my family,” Banyard told KATC-TV last week. “I thought it was best to leave. I just felt it was best because I had to endure this type of thing before.”
Banyard was hired as principal of Carencro Middle in 2012. He told The Acadiana Advocate last month that he believed some people, including two employees who have filed lawsuits against him, had targeted him because of changes he had made to improve the school.
One employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Banyard in 2014. Another employee filed a lawsuit in January that alleged Banyard discriminated and retaliated against her because she rejected his sexual advances.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.