English teacher’s resignation causes uproar in Easley

EASLEY — The Easley community is up in arms about the resignation of an English teacher at Easley High School.

The resignation of literature and AP English teacher Greg Fish sent outrage through the Easley community as current and former students organized an online campaign through petitions, Twitter and Facebook to bring their beloved teacher back to the school.

School District of Pickens County spokesman John Eby confirmed the district had accepted Fish’s resignation on Friday, saying he “will assist the teachers who will instruct his classes for the remainder of the year, although he will not be returning to the school or the classroom.”

The resignation came after Fish allegedly read a poem containing graphic language while at a poetry roundtable with students at an Easley restaurant.

Eby said in a statement that Fish was put on leave initially because of complaints to administration that the teacher had shared inappropriate content and standard procedures were followed by placing him on leave while an investigation was conducted.

According to an online petition for his return that had accumulated more than 3,000 signatures as of Tuesday, “the students of Easley High School have been greatly impacted by Mr. Fish’s leaving.”

Fish’s AP literature students will struggle to prepare for the AP exam without him, the petition said.

In addition, Fish taught yearbook classes at Easley, and the publication will suffer in his absence, according to the petition.

“With Mr. Fish gone, there is no way to finish the yearbook without great cost penalties,” the petition reads. “This will greatly affect the yearbook staff, since it is a self-sustaining organization.”

According to the petition, Fish was “not only a teacher to his students, but also a mentor.”

“He has positively influenced every student he has come across in the past 16 years of teaching at Easley High School,” it reads. “The students need Mr. Fish to come back and teach — without him, many classes and organizations will fail.”

The petition can be found online at

Eby said in a news release that students were expected to attend their classes and conduct themselves in a respectful manner on Tuesday.

“We are aware that some students may be planning a ‘sit-in’ in response to this issue,” Eby said. “The administration will handle any disruptions caused by a sit-in through normal procedures and policies.”

The sit-in was later reportedly canceled at the request of the Fish family.

“The primary focus at Easley High will continue to be the education and welfare of their students,” Eby said. “The administration and our 150 faculty and staff members at Easley High will continue do everything necessary to make sure students have the academic support that is needed for the remainder of the school year. One of the core beliefs at Easley High School is that we will ‘build character, then scholarship, in the pursuit of individual excellence.’ We want to thank our parents and community for working with us as we continue that pursuit.”