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Group Signs Petition To Fire Assistant Principal Lee, School Makes Statement
Updated April 21, 2015 12:13 PM | Filed under: Education
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(BEDFORD) - A group of more than 580 people have signed a petition asking for the termination of Bedford North Lawrence High School Assistant Principal Sarah Lee.

The petition states that Lee was hired to oversee discipline actions at the high school and since being hired she has "lost sight of the duties as assistant principal". It also claims she uses the threat of police "as a strong arm within the high school to force her own agenda."

It also claims Lee allows bullying incidents to continue at the high school.

Darin Kinser, of Bedford, who authored the petition claims the signatures will show the North Lawrence Community school board "enough is enough she must go." He and a group of those that signed the petition plan to address the issue with the school board.

On Sunday, NLCS Superintendent Gary Conner learned about the petition.

"Mr. Kinser's comments were concerning and troubling, at best." he wrote in an email. " When I learned about Mr. Kinser's comments, I opted to speak with high school personnel about the situation. In speaking with Mr. Dyke, BNL H.S. Principal, and Ms. Lee, BNL H.S. Assistant Principal, I acquired some very troubling information about Mr. Kinser's conduct and actions."

According to school officials, Kinser brought a young girl to the high school to speak to the building administrator. While there he spoke to the main office receptionist, who informed Kinser that Principal Dyke was not available but he could speak to Assistant Principal Lee.

"After he made a very disparaging comment, he indicated that he would speak with Ms. Lee," Conner wrote. "He also informed the main office receptionist that he was the young girl's legal guardian."

When Lee came to speak to Kinser, Lee was informed Kinser was her legal guardian at which time Lee checked school records to verify that. She also requested a police officer come to the office because of Kinser's rude behavior and to ensure the school environment remained safe.

After reviewing school records, Lee found Kinser was not young girl's legal guardian and informed Kinser she could not speak to him about the young girl, because he was not her legal guardian.

"She was not attempting to be difficult," Conner wrote. "She was protecting the young girl's rights. Ms. Lee was abiding by federal FERPA, Family Education Rights Privacy Act, regulations. As soon as Ms. Lee indicated this to Mr. Kinser, Ms. Lee indicated that he became very rude."

Kinser then called the girl's father and requested the parent come to the high school and that the police were involved.

"School personnel were very concerned about Mr. Kinser's conduct and actions," Conner wrote. "School personnel indicated that Mr. Kinser was very agitated the entire time he was waiting for the young girl's father. When the father arrived, Ms. Lee took all of them into her office to meet with them. Because of Mr. Kinser's comments and actions, the police remained available in the office area."

During the meeting Kinser told Lee what he expected her to do with other girl involved in the situation.

"Ms. Lee indicated that she could not speak to him about the other girl," Conner wrote. "Ms. Lee indicated that he continued to rant and express his anger."

Conner says the father requested copies of the discipline papers that school personnel had on his daughter, which Lee provided him. Lee then requested that an officer escort Kinser, the father and the young girl out of the building.

"In speaking with Ms. Lee, she indicated that she had disciplined the young girl," Conner wrote. " The girl and another student were not getting along. Ms. Lee instructed the two girls to stay away from each other. After Ms. Lee had talked to them on at least three different occasions, the young girl deliberately failed to comply with Ms. Lee's directives. Because of the young girl's indifference to Ms. Lee's instructions, Ms. Lee disciplined the girl. After Ms. Lee disciplined the girl, Ms. Lee placed her in In-School Suspension for the remainder of the day. She was escorted to the cafeteria, and during the time that she was there, she saw the other girl. As she passed the other girl, she intentionally used her shoulder to shove the other girl. Because of her continued actions, Ms. Lee elevated her level of discipline."

Conner wrote that Kinser intentionally and deliberately tried to deceive school personnel.

"He conveyed that he was the young girl's guardian," He wrote. "He stated this on at least two different occasions. He attempted to force his personal view on school personnel in an effort to get another student. He conducted himself in such a way that school personnel had to have law enforcement personnel available to ensure that everyone was safe. During the time that he was in the office, Mr. Kinser was angry. He was rude. As an adult, his actions were unacceptable. Administrative personnel attempted to work with the family. Even though Mr. Kinser claimed in his Facebook Page that bullying was going on and nothing was being done to prevent it, Ms. Lee was addressing a volatile situation. Mr. Kinser demonstrated very inappropriate behavior as an adult."

Conner concluded his email with the following comment.

"As we make a journey through each day, I want our kids to know that they are appreciated, respected and valued. I want our parents to know that they are always welcome to talk to their child's school. I want our parents to know that they are important. I am determined to ensure that our schools are safe places for our kids. As we serve our kids, we have to ensure that we preserve each child's integrity. We are the stewards of their academic records. We must protect their safety. Unfortunately, there are those who wish to compromise the basic fabric of safety. As school personnel, we have to be willing to deal with difficult situations to protect our young people. To do less is unacceptable."

However Kinser disagrees.

"Mr. Conner's statement is to take focus away from the issue at hand," Kinser wrote in a message. "Maybe my actions at the school was wrong in his eyes but how about the statements being made by hundreds of parents against this Administrator. It goes to show nothing will be done and the most important question is how many kids are going to quit before changes are made. How many more parents must sign or have issues before this type of administrative bullying stops. You would have thought Mr. Conner would have taken the time to read all the reasons parents are leaving before making a statement?"

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