Sue Burtenshaw joined Coober Pedy Area School in 2008 on a five-year tenure, after the school had employed seven principals in nine years.
Ms Burtenshaw began cracking down on students, reinforcing the school's long-lapsed uniform policy and suspending pupils for lateness.
Parent Tim Nagy said his children, aged 9, 11, 13 and 14, often came home from school upset and had been suspended many times for being late.
"We've really reached a crisis point over here, my children have missed most of this year," he said.
In late 2009, angry Coober Pedy parents called public meetings seeking the resignation of Sue Burtenshaw.
They successfully demanded an official Government inquiry into Ms Burtenshaw's conduct.
Ms Burtenshaw had to call police to the school to remove some parents who had been "threatening the staff" and "refusing to calm down".
Despite the tension, there are other parents who say the school is a better place under Ms Burtenshaw.
Tina Scott, whose nine-year-old daughter Cartier attends the school, said that she had no problems with the principal.
"I think the issues are minimal compared to the good she's done," she said.
Coober Pedy deputy mayor Mike Maylin said the school's issues had definitely split the community.
"A lot of people are happy with the school and a lot of people are not. We can't please everyone," he said.
In January 2010, South Australian Education Department chief executive Chris Robinson said a review of the allegations had "identified a number of issues that will require further inquiry".
"This work will be undertaken as a matter of priority during term one," Mr Robinson said.
"The principal of the school has agreed to step aside during this process."
Mitcham Primary School principal Steve Adams served as interim principal at Coober Pedy in Term 2 this year.
Mr Adams said it was a "tough gig", with some of the community demonstrating "little respect for education".
On 11 July 2010 the Department of Education and Children's Services announced that Ms Burtenshaw would no longer be principal, as the outcome of a lengthy investigation into conflict at the school.
DECS chief executive Chris Robinson said it was necessary to bring in a new principal.
"This ... (is not) a disciplinary measure," he said.
"Rather, I have concluded that it is in the best interests of the students, staff, community and Ms Burtenshaw that a new principal be appointed to Coober Pedy Area School."
Sue Burtenshaw is expected to appeal against the Education Department's decision to remove her from the school.