Parents sign petition to remove Petersburg school principal

Posted at 10:56 PM, Jun 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-15 23:20:10-04

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Dozens of parents whose children attend Peabody Middle School in Petersburg have signed a petition in an effort to oust the principal.

The group is worried the principal is not doing enough to connect with parents, teachers, or the community. However, other members of the community are supporting her.

Some parents CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil talked to said they have had numerous problems dealing with the school’s principal.

Yet other folks say the principal is to the point and easy to connect with.

Parent and PTA President Gloria Brown said that business leaders, parents and even some teachers have come to her concerned about a lack of communication from the principal.

"For whatever reason, people are blocked from helping and bringing programs into the school," said Brown.

After little success resolving the issues, signed petitions were given to the school board asking that the principal not return for the next school year.

"All parents want more for their children, but when you have someone in leadership who’s not willing to accept or embrace -- or even play nicely -- as we can put it in layman's terms, it is very difficult," said parent Cathy Bruce.

School administrators told Covil they cannot comment on the personnel matter, but that a letter was sent home Friday with students from the superintendent addressing the concerns.

The greatest concern is centered around communication between parents and stakeholders.

Therefore, the principal has developed a plan of action to further open communication including:

  • Establish team parent program for 2012-13 school year
  • Principal chats will be held once a quarter for parents to share comments and concerns

For some, this is welcome news that aims to make both sides happy.

James Lofton said he thinks the principal is doing a good job and is glad she will return next year.

Muriel Coats agreed and said that even with a lot on her plate the principal has performed very well.

CBS 6 News did try to get comments from both the superintendent and the principal. School administrators provided a written statement that said they are working with the Peabody PTA to work through their concerns. The principal did not return calls from the station.