Memphis, TN -- Shelby County Schools is naming a new interim principal at Melrose High School, but those with strong ties to the school say they like the one they have just fine.
More than 200 people turned out for a rally on Thursday night in support of Melrose Principal Levi Pointer.
Pointer was suspended on Monday after an audit found nearly a dozen examples of fraud and theft at the school.
"I am just here for support, not here to pass judgement or say what he did or didn't do. I'm just here for support," said Derrick Taylor, who said he has known Pointer for nearly three decades.
"I know if I was in the same situation I would want someone to be there for me and support having my back," Taylor said. "Whatever help he needs from me, I'm here for him."
Rally organizers say they planned the event to allow members of the Melrose community to come together. At the times the event was part pep rally, other times prayer session.
While those at the rally say they stand by Pointer, the school system is already looking ahead.
"To ensure a successful start of the school year, LaVaughn Bridges will serve as substitute principal of Melrose High School during the investigation," a Shelby County Schools spokeswoman wrote in a statement Thursday night.
"Mr. Bridges, the retired principal of Melrose High School, is a well-respected veteran educator who has served the community for 30 years. We appreciate his willingness to once again support our students, Melrose High School, and the Orange Mound Community," the statement concluded.
"Mr. Pointer he put out an effort every time we need something," said Katasia Green, a 10th grader at Melrose.
"Everyone went to Melrose, graduated from Melrose, we put in as Melrose so we are going to come out as Melrose," she added.
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