A statement Thursday from the attorney for popular Northeast High School principal Sue Starr could shed more light on why she has been replaced by an acting principal since Monday.
In the statement authorized by Starr, attorney Robert Redwine calls for her “immediate reinstatement” after she was given an “involuntary leave of absence.”
The statement anticipates an opportunity for Starr to “present her case to the Oklahoma City Public School Board.”
Thursday’s statement seems to be a response to the district’s vague statement Wednesday that she was “taking leave.”
Teachers reported seeing her escorted out of the building by district security late in the school day Monday after a student protest outside Superintendent Aurora Lora’s temporary office on the first floor of NEHS.
Oklahoma City Public Schools has named another assistant principal in the district to be the acting principal of NEHS.
As reported by Free Press Wednesday, students and parents have feared she was sent home on leave to give the district time to process her firing.
In response to our questions, the district issued a statement in which they described Starr’s absence differently
“Currently, Ms. Starr, the Principal of Northeast Academy, is taking leave and is out of the building,” a part of the OKCPS statement said.
The complete statement sent to Free Press by Redwine reads:
Northeast Academy Principal Sue Starr authorized us to confirm that she was placed on an involuntary leave of absence by Oklahoma City Public School’s Administration for alleged concerns “related to management, safety, and culture.”
It can hardly be coincidental that these alleged concerns arose after the Oklahoma City Public School’s Administration first attempted to close Northeast Academy and then failed to heed Principal Starr’s estimate of students for this school year.
Principal Starr is an exceptional administrator with a proven track record of dedication and success.
We believe Principal Starr is entitled to immediate reinstatement and call upon the Oklahoma City Public School’s Administration to do the right thing now, voluntarily, rather than spend significant taxpayer funding in a misguided, and we believe ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to remove her.
In any event, Principal Starr looks forward to the opportunity to present her case to the Oklahoma City Public School Board.
Beth Harrison, communications chief for OKCPS, responded to a late request for comment by saying they were not allowed to comment on personnel matters.
Watch this space.
UPDATE — The original version of this story said that we were unsuccessful in attempts to reach the district for comment. The story now reflects their response.