St. Louis Park principal placed on leave

6:34 AM, Apr 6, 2011   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn -- Students at Aquila Elementary got a new principal this week. Their old principal, Freida Bailey, was put on leave after parents complained about her leadership.

Just two weeks ago, a handful of parents showed up a school board meeting to express their concerns about Bailey.  Many were not happy with how she handled cases of bullying and some parents said she did not communicate with families adequately.

Chris Clarke, a father of two students who attend the school, says he knows of at least 60 parents who were unhappy with Bailey.

"When you can't be assured of the safety of your children then you know you have to start questioning and start asking why am I not being told this?" Clarke said.

A spokesperson for the St. Louis Park School District said they put Bailey on leave as a response to parents' concerns. However, she would not comment on whether there is an investigation into Bailey, citing privacy laws.

While there were parents who questioned Bailey's leadership there were some who supported her.  They didn't want to go on camera but did tell KARE by phone that the school changed to a K-5 school this year and Bailey may have been struggling to keep up with her new responsibilities.

However, parents like Clarke said Bailey just didn't click with parents or students.

"The principal was a very nice person. I'm not sure if she was a good fit," he said.

The district hasn't said if Bailey is on paid leave, or if she will return.

In the meantime, Clarence Pollock, assistant principal at St. Louis Park High School, has been named Aquila's interim principal.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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