The Cahaba Heights Elementary School principal was voted out Thursday in a special called meeting over a controversy that has taken a life of its own on social media.

The Vestavia Hills Board of Education (BOE) voted to transfer Lauren Dressback to Vestavia Hills Alternative (VISION) School.

"Shameful!" "Shame on you!" citizens at the meeting shouted as the board voted and approved the measure.

Assistant Principal Kim Polson will step into the principal's position at Cahaba Heights Elementary.

The meeting on Thursday was packed with people protesting the transfer. They were wearing green in support of the principal. Other supporters of Dressback on social media claim she was put on leave because she is a lesbian.

Greater Birmingham Humane Society CEO Allison Black Cornelius was among those who addressed the BOE, asking for answers.

"I am a conservative Republican," said Cornelius. "I have probably a third of my staff where I work are transgender. My parents are going to be so mad at me tonight for speaking up. I just want everyone in this room to know that if I thought that the things that are wrong in our state could be solved by talking about what goes on in y all's bedrooms, Lord knows I would. But I want you to know something: I love all people. I do. That's how I was raised and that's what I was taught."

Cornelius said as a leadership teacher, she believes the school system should tell the public what Dressback did to be placed on administrative leave in February.

Others spoke in support of the BOE, saying they understand the challenges members face amid the very public controversy. A baseball coach with kids at the school stood to say he knows several Vestavia Hills School System employees who are a part of the LGBT community, and they have never had issues with the school system due to their sexual preferences.

Dressback herself has reacted with a "thumbs up" to posts on Facebook claiming she was put on leave after showing a co-worker photos of her and her partner. Her friends said they asked her if it was OK to share her information, and she gave them the go-ahead. The friends said Dressback was married for 23 years until her and her husband separated in December when she came out as gay.

Dressback has been the principal at Cahaba Heights since 2022.

While the school system is not publicly commenting on the incident, sources inside the school told 1819 News the story is not what it appears. They said the school system is handling the situation the best way, which is by remaining silent.

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