Students and Parents Rally Around Principal on Paid Leave

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Friday, May 28, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 PM CDT
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Students Protest Principtal Removal

NBCDFW.com

Parents and students are rallying around Grand Prairie High School principal Joseph Showell who was placed on administrative leave two weeks ago.

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Students Protest Principtal Removal

Students and parents at Grand Prairie High School are protesting the removal of a principal who has been on paid leave for two weeks.
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Parents and students rallied Friday around Grand Prairie High School principal Joseph Showell who was placed on administrative leave two weeks ago.

Several dozen students briefly walked outside of school in protest Friday morning, but returned after threats of discipline, with graduation just days away.

The Grand Prairie NAACP called a press conference outside the school at 10am over concerns that the principal is not being treated fairly.

"There haven’t been any bad vibes because the community is actually rallying for Joseph Showell," said Grand Prairie NAACP leader Angela Luckey.  "They’re in favor of keeping Joseph Showell here."

Luckey said Showell was recently named Grand Prairie educator of the year and that he improved the school’s test score rating with the state.

"When Joseph Showell came in three years ago, this school was unacceptable. He has a proven a track record and the records show that he’s turned this school around," Luckey said.

After school, students supported the principal, too.

"We really tried hard for him, and he’s done some great stuff.  So I would really love for him to come back to school," said graduating senior Charles Hodge.

"We really don’t know what happened," said senior Miriam Jaime.  "We don’t understand what’s going on."

Several sources with connections to the school told NBC 5 that Showell is being investigated for failing to promptly deal with sexual harassment claims against another staff member. 

"What we were told is that Joseph Showell has indeed been asked to resign immediately," Luckey said.

Grand Prairie Independent School District spokesman Sam Buchmeyer said it is a personnel matter and that school officials can not comment.

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