In the video update, Holley clarifies that he was not fired but that he was forced to resign. His story does match certain aspects of a statement released to Heavy by the Fulton County Schools. In the above video, Holley says he believes he was forced out by Opferman and the school because he was the highest paid janitor and that the school was trying to save money.
The original video that caused the public outcry is originally from August 2016 but shot to the top of Reddit earlier this week. It was secretly recorded by Holley. According to the Digital Media Law Project, Georgia is a “one-party consent” state, meaning that only one of the parties has to consent to be recorded. Opferman did not know she was being recorded.
The video begins with Opferman asking Holley, “So, Jonathan, what are your hours?”
The custodian tells her that he works at the school from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but that this morning was different so he felt he could leave early. That morning the local fire department needed to do a routine inspection of the school and they came early, so Holley “clocked in” at 6:15 so that the firemen didn’t have to sit around and wait until 6:30.
Because of his early day, Holley decided to leave at 2:52.
Opferman contradicts this and says that she was calling for him at 2:45.
In a condescending manner, Opferman goes on to tell him that he should have made the firemen wait that morning, as the school is not officially open until 6:30. She says she will have to get human resources involved. She repeatedly asks Holley, “Who’s your boss?” And refers to herself in the third person as “Susan Opferman.”
Holley acknowledges this but then goes on to ask why the principal is always harassing him, citing past grievances. Opferman denies this and again says she will have to speak to HR. “We are done here,” she says.
The Fulton County Schools has released a statement to Heavy regarding the Holley and Opferman video. It reads:
“We are aware of an August 2016 video that shows Webb Bridge Middle School Principal Susan Opferman being recorded by a former employee who was brought in to meet with her again for his continuing issues of coming to work late and leaving early.
Mrs. Opferman was subsequently on medical leave, and while on leave, the school continued to have personnel issues with this employee. This employee was not terminated, but did resign in May 2016.
While we understand that this video is receiving a great deal of attention on social media, it is important to distinguish that the conversations on social media do not fully reflect all the facts of this situation. Our HR professionals have begun a review of this matter in its entirety. Fulton County Schools has approximately 14,000 employees and we greatly value all of them.”
According to various reports, Opferman has been forced to resign following the public outcry from the video. Holley has since started a GoFundMe campaign asking for “a little help.” You can contribute here.