ELIZABETH, N.J. (PIX11) — On Thursday, community activists returned to a public school board meeting in Elizabeth, outraged that a principal — accused of suggesting a special needs student use one racial term to replace another — was transferred instead of being fired.

“Why wasn’t Yvonne McGovern placed under the transfer section, letting the public know she was being transferred to another school?” asked activist Jonathan Yelverton. “Is that how you handle the problem?”

In an internal school email obtained by PIX11 News, one of the district’s high school principals told staff that the Board of Education “voted to reassign Mrs. McGovern.”

“We knew from the start that Mrs. McGovern’s assignment at our annex would be temporary and I am understanding of the controversy surrounding her circumstances,” the principal wrote.

During Thursday’s board meeting, board members didn’t want local activist Kason Little to mention McGovern’s name, citing the district’s ongoing investigation into what is described as a “personnel matter.”

PIX11 News received a text message from McGovern the morning after an initial report. She wrote, in part, “I would be happy to speak with you and give you my side of the story. It actually would be welcoming to finally be heard.”

She did not write again after that initial April 29 message.