The chairman of the school district where a bullied student committed suicide told an agitated crowd Wednesday night that he would be stepping down from his position.
South Hadley School Committee Chairman Edward J. Boiselle made the announcement in the same library where prosecutors say 15-year-old freshmen Phoebe Prince was tormented by bullies hours before she took her life.
Prince hanged herself in the stairwell of her family's apartment in South Hadley, Massachusetts, on January 14, following weeks of taunting by classmates, authorities say. The day before she died, she told a friend: "School has been close to intolerable lately," a court document shows.
The audience at the meeting was larger than usual and divided in its support for the administration. Some angrily called for resignations and others clapped as a disruptive audience member were removed by police.
South Hadley Superintendent Gus Sayer told CNN that administrators requested police presence at the meeting after a local radio station called for critics of the committee to attend.
Boiselle said he would have stepped down regardless of the controversy surrounding Prince's death.
"I've always felt that the chairmanship should rotate every year," he said. Committee member JoAnn Jordan was elected to the chairmanship after Boiselle stepped down. He will remain a member of the committee.
Boiselle also expressed support for Sayer and said that he saw no factual evidence at this point that would warrant the removal of any teachers or administrators from South Hadley High School.
Investigators from the Northwestern Massachusetts District Attorney's Office found nothing criminal in the actions of adults at the school but did remark that some actions, or inactions, were troublesome.
Sayer told CNN that the committee had yet to meet with investigators but hoped to do so as soon as possible.
"If we learn from here that things should have been done differently," Sayer said, "We will hold staff members accountable."
The state has charged four teenage girls from Prince's school with civil rights violations resulting in bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbing a school assembly. Two are also charged with stalking, and one other is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
Two boys, also teenagers, have been charged with statutory rape, violation of civil rights with resulting bodily injury, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.
- By CNN's Cassie Spodak