Seattle Schools Demotes Cleveland Principal, Students Protest

Cleveland High School

Seattle’s Cleveland High principal informed families of a plan to scale back COVID-19 contact tracing in Seattle schools. This was something district officials ordered her not to do. Superintendent Brent Jones posted an update to Cleveland families saying Marni Campbell had withdrawn from the position of principal at Cleveland High School because she “did not want to be a distraction or hamper the future success of Cleveland students.”

Principal Catherine Brown worked at Cleveland High School for 18 years. It all ends this summer. There was an investigation. After that, district officials decided to end Brown’s principal contract. The official end date is effective June 30. In addition, she was demoted to a lower role. Then they sought to reassign her to a different school. On top of that, a five-day suspension is recommended.

An education attorney, who once served as counsel for the district said that, “This is the most severe discipline I’ve seen imposed on an 18-year” employee, a “principal, with no past record, for insubordination or failing to follow a directive.”

dr Brown became the principal of this school year after having served as the school’s assistant principal for several years. Students believe there is a lack of transparency between them and the school system.

Marni Campbell, the principal at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, is reported as the new replacement. Students and families are angry. However, an organization representing Seattle principals told Cleveland students in a filmed interview that Campbell declined the appointment and did not respond to the media for comments.

They may be a long shot at a remedy. Brown may seek reconsideration and respond to the district’s discipline in front of a hearing officer and in a separate process through the School Board. Students walked out of class at 11:30 am last Friday and gathered at school district headquarters to protest principal Catherine Brown’s departure.