ANSON, MAINE, Maine — The events leading up to today's protest began more than a week ago. A school community member filed a compliant against math teacher Anthony Pranses.
Superintendent Mike Tracy acted on the complaint. He interviewed several students about Pranses.
According to Pranses, students were asked if he had any inappropriate sexual contact with them or made them feel uncomfortable.
"“For the superintendent to spread the kind malicious and hateful gossip that he has about me has been horrible. I love these kids, I love their families, and I’m kind of stunned right now," Pranses said.
Tracy did not confirm nor deny if those questions were asked.
“They’re confused. I would also state that they probably don’t have all the information," Tracy said, about students and parents asking questions on the situation.
“They were dragging students into the office asking them inappropriate questions without consulting parents first," parent Leah May said.
Leah May and Cristi Dickey supported their children during the walk-out. They watched the protest from off school grounds, making sure the kids were safe, and giving them gloves and hats to stay warm in the cold.
“I’m very proud of these students for standing up for what they believe in and standing up for a truly amazing teacher," Dickey said.
Students had signs reading, "Freedom for Pranses", "Fire Tracy", and "Fire Richards."
“What happened to Mr. Pranses was wrong. He did a lot for our school, this man was more than a teacher, this man was family to us. This is the way we treat him? We want Pranses in and want Mr. Richards and Mr. Tracey out," student Dominic Falk said.
"He made our school, that’s what he did. That’s Mr. Pranses," Hunter Avery added.
Pranses made an appearance during the protest, feeling overwhelmed at what he saw from his students.
“I’ve had support from every parent, school board members, and all these kids, it’s been overwhelming," he added.
The timeline of this investigation is still unknown. Tracy said parents weren't informed because the investigation is being done internally. He's hoping for a decision soon.
“To come up with the fairest outcome, and that’s what we hope for."