Two fired Lincoln Park High principals ‘loved and respected’

SHARE Two fired Lincoln Park High principals ‘loved and respected’
Lincoln Park High School students stage a walkout on Feb. 6, 2020, protesting the removing of the school’s top administrators.

Lincoln Park High School students stage a walkout on Feb. 6, 2020, protesting the removing of the school’s top administrators.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

In what universe are people fired — not suspended pending an investigation, but fired — with no notice or explanation for “allegations?”

The two principals at Lincoln Park High School fired, John Thuet and Michelle Brumfield, were universally loved and respected by all stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, and the community.So too was Dean John Johnson, who was removed.I am serious, they had universal approval.

Show me another CPS school where all stakeholders are so united in support of their school administrators.

Based only on allegations, CPS fired them, essentially destroying their careers and reputations.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

CPS says it can’t share more because it is “protecting” all those involved.Nobody needs to know the students’ names, but who is CPS protecting?CPS has already destroyed these people’s careers, yet now it seeks to “protect” them?If, for instance, they failed to report serious student misconduct, CPS can state that without identifying students.

What needs investigating is the CPS investigation here.

These two leaders – Principals Thuet and Brumfield – were the solution, not the problem, at the high school.Arriving in August, they changed the culture in the building and started cleaning up old, inherited messes.Now they are gone, without notice or explanation, based on allegations that CPS won’t share or substantiate.

William Choslovsky, a parent of two LPHS students

LPHS a ‘great school’

Lincoln Park High School is one of the most diverse high schools in Chicago. Demographically, the school is 11.5% Asian, 21.1% black, 30.3% Hispanic, 30.3% white and 4.4% other. Nearly 50 percent of the school population is low income. Yet, we are ranked the 9th best high school in the state by US News.

Eight-four percent of our black students, 92% of our Latinx students, and 86% of our students who qualify for free or reduced lunch enroll in college. The school offers one of the best IB and double honors programs in the city and our performing arts programs are award-winning.

We’re a good school. No, we’re a great school. And for CPS to use Lincoln Park High School as an example to rid itself of years of neglect, mismanagement of oversight of sexual misconduct and abuse in schools, and for the Sun-Times editorial board to accept and then propagate the CPS line of attack is disappointing to LPHS parents, students, teachers and the community.

In an editorial on Wednesday, “CPS had no choice but to crack down amid mess at Lincoln Park High,” your blind support of CPS, especially when your paper reports on CPS dysfunction and mismanagement, was nothing if not shortsighted. In fact, just yesterday your paper reported on the resignation of the CPS inspector general for creating a toxic workplace, the very office that inspects allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse in our schools. A Sun-Times article dated Sept. 12, 2019, led with the headline: “CPS’ handling of sexual abuse cases ‘tragic and inexcusable,’ feds say in ordering major overhaul.” Your own reporting from five months ago to just yesterday showcases CPS mismanagement.

And to think that CPS has overhauled their processes in a toxic inspector general’s office in that short time is questionable.

You said in the editorial that the district had no choice but to remove top school leaders and that there was no acceptable alternative. However, a complete lack of accountability of CPS leadership exists. John Thuet was an interim principal, so why are his bosses at CPS not held accountable?

Of course, CPS’ allegations are serious, and it is terrible to think students suffered. However, the way in which CPS has engaged in its investigation has been, to use your own words, “tragic and inexcusable.” CPS has excluded the school community under the mask of an on-going investigation. However, CPS was happy to share the allegations with the news media well in advance of sharing with the school community at Monday night’s meeting. In the least, engaging LPHS’s Local School Counsel (LSC) might have helped mitigate some of the burgeoning scandal.

Mary Shaughnessy and other Concerned Lincoln Park High School Parents

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