The San Diego Unified School District let go the Lincoln High School principal and three vice-principals on Wednesday saying all four staff members will be replaced but did not provide any detail as to why.
“We are making dramatic changes because we want to change the culture here at Lincoln, none of the impacted employees are being laid off, They all have rights to apply for positions within the district,” said SDUSD Board Chair, Sharon Whitehurst-Payne.
Whitehurst-Payne said the board is limited in that it cannot share anything about the employees because they have a right to privacy.
The staff removal comes just a day after Lincoln High’s graduation of 294 students.
One teacher, who asked not to be named, said she was furious over the firings.
“They walked our principal off campus today, and I want to make it clear that it’s not the fault of the students it’s not the fault of the staff, we love our students we love each other,” she said.
Lincoln High has had a reputation of having a disruptive culture fueled with fights – including one on campus in April where a female student’s hair braids were pulled out.
Shamiko Harris provided the cell phone video of the fight and is a former Lincoln High parent, who says he took his two sons out of the school because of lack of support from the staff – where he too felt the principal and an administrator needed to go.
“Oh no, I’m not surprised at all. I was wondering. It should’ve been done like yesterday. Should’ve been done a long time ago,” Harris said.
Now, there are teacher concerns over how the lack of leadership will affect students taking summer classes as the session begins Monday.
The school board touts Lincoln High’s 481 college acceptance letters and a football team that won the regional championships. With new leadership pending they want the school to turn a new leaf “toward excellence.”
“We were just trying to do what is best for the children here at the school, we want to increase the accomplishments, and we want to ensure that this is the number one school - the role model in this city,” Whitehurst-Payne said.
SDUSD is going to conduct a national search to find the new leadership team at Lincoln High school. There will be a professional recruiting firm provide a pool of qualified candidates.