Students protest principal’s departure

DETROIT – Western International High School students and staff staged a walkout on Monday after learning that their principal would not return next year, according to a report by WDIV Local 4.

Rebecca Luna reportedly was one of 33 principals named for layoff by emergency financial manager Robert Bobb as part of a large-scale shakeup, the report said, though Luna’s daughter told WDIV that Luna would be transferred to another building.

According to WDIV, a student pulled the fire alarm early Monday, then the student body chanted and marched along a nearby street until the affair broke up about two hours later.

The Detroit Free Press reported that the district did not renew contracts with 33 principals due to poor performance, school closures and academic restructuring. Another 37 principals will be reassigned, 11 will retire and the district will conduct a national search to fill 10 prinicipal slots, mostly at troubled schools, the Free Press reported.

Remaining principals are expected to have more control over decision-making in their schools, according to the Free Press. Earlier, Bobb announced that 29 schools will close this summer to help offset a $305-million deficit.

Some of the principals may be able to return as teachers depending on their years of service, the Free Press said.

WDIV, Local 4, “Students protest DPS principal decision,” May 18, 2009

The Detroit Free Press, “33 Detroit principals fired in school shakeup,” May 15, 2009

Michigan Education Digest, “DPS principals under review,” April 29, 2009