North Atlanta High School students walk pass two school officials on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. Over 100 students walked out of class at noon to protest the firing on the principal and the way four administrators at the school were abruptly reassigned.
A North Atlanta High teacher has left her position at the school following accusations of racial discrimination, according to a letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Amy Durham worked as a language arts teacher at the school, where a little more than a week ago six key administrators were replaced, including interim principal Mark MyGrant.
In a letter to school officials, Durham said her position was never officially approved by the school board because she was told there were “outstanding questions” about how she was selected for the position.
Durham said in September she was told about a charge of racial discrimination made against her related to her part-time work at the school’s college and career counseling center in 2011-12. She said she has tried to get clarity from Atlanta Public Schools about the allegations, but has gotten no response.
As a result, Durham sent the letter, dated Oct. 10, saying she was leaving her position at the high school.
“As you can understand, the initial enthusiasm that I had to be an Atlanta Public Schools teacher has been considerably diminished,” she wrote.
Efforts to reach Durham Saturday were unsuccessful.
On Oct. 5, APS officials reassigned four North Atlanta High administrators — an assistant principal and three academy leaders. Two other administrators — interim principal MyGrant and academy leader Reginald Colbert — both retired. A new principal takes over Oct. 29.
MyGrant said he would present evidence that the replacements grew out of what he considers politically motivated and baseless allegations that two of his recommended hires — a graduation coach and an English teacher — were racists. He delivered 25 pages of documents to the central office Tuesday that he said would exonerate him and the other administrators. Late Wednesday, he released a statement saying, “It is time for us to move on.”
An APS spokesman reached Saturday said he could not comment on Durham’s letter or its contents because it’s a personnel matter.
Previously, Superintendent Erroll Davis has said he could not address personnel issues. At a public meeting last week, he dispelled rumors there were any accusations of racism from APS toward the school’s administration.
In her letter, Durham calls the charges “scurrilous and false” and says they may be the reason her official hire was never approved.
“The superintendent’s actions at North Atlanta [on] Oct. 5 were in my view misguided, perhaps even malicious, and will create unnecessary instability for the 2012-13 school year,” Durham wrote.
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