A South Carolina school district held a special meeting Wednesday night to consider whether a teacher who retired in controversy should be reinstated.
The answer Anderson School District 1 provided to Lisa Houston and hundreds of her supporters was not popular.
After meeting in executive session, the school board declined to reinstate the longtime Palmetto High School math teacher, greenvilleonline.com reported, adding that the issue is not 100 percent final.
Houston, who taught at Palmetto High for 27 years, recently retired after a video spread online of her making physical contact with a student who was sleeping at his desk.
The video shows Houston standing on a desk, gently tapping the student on the face and twisting his head, pulling his hair, stomping her foot on the desk and pushing him in the chest with the bottom of her foot before climbing down.
Houston immediately retired after an inquiry into the incident was held two weeks ago, according to wspa.com.
Her attorney, Ryan Beasley, said she was was forced to resign, according to independentmail.com.
Turmoil followed her resignation, as current and former students have mounted a social media campaign to voice their support for the teacher, including launching an online petition, and held marches and protests demanding Houston be allowed to return to her classroom.
Several hundred supporters turned out for Wednesday's special meeting, with five of them permitted to speak during the opening 15 minutes of the meeting and make the case for Houston's return, wspa.com reported.
Following the more than two-hour-long, closed-door executive session, the school board announced it voted unanimously to have the district's legal counsel contact Beasley to find a compromise, according to greenvilleonline.com.
"We’ve authorized our legal counsel to talk to her legal counsel," board member Mike Wilson said to wyff4.com. "We have to let due process take its course. We can’t force these matters. They have their own timeline, and I think things are moving forward.”
Not everyone was as optimistic following the meeting. Several of Houston's supporters voiced their displeasure with the outcome.
"I'm shocked and disappointed," Lane Hunter, the Palmetto High student body president, said to greenvilleonline.com. "I figured by now they would have seen how much we wanted Lisa Houston back. I feel like this was a dog-and-pony show and we sat here three hours for nothing."
"I'm really frustrated because they were in there for almost three hours and for them to come out and tell us that they're going to compromise something ... and they couldn't even tell us what they were going to compromise," Libby Middleton said to wspa.com.
“We want answers," parent Greg Paige said to wyff4.com. “It should have never come to this period. It should have never gotten to this."
Houston did not comment on the outcome of Wednesday's special meeting.
The father of the student in the video said neither he nor his son asked for disciplinary action against the teacher, and according to a police report he said he did not believe Houston was trying to injure his son and that he "felt like the incident was done in humor." foxcarolina.com reported.