Petition Calls For Removal of Principal at Magnet School on Chicago's North Side - NBC Chicago

Petition Calls For Removal of Principal at Magnet School on Chicago's North Side

Walt Disney Magnet School Principal Dr. Kathleen Hagstrom was named in the petition

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    Petition Calls For Chicago Principal's Firing

    More than 1,100 people have signed a petition calling for the resignation of the principal at Chicago's Walt Disney Magnet School. NBC 5's Natalie Martinez explains. 

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    A petition calling for the removal of the principal at Walt Disney Magnet School on Chicago's North Side has garnered more than 1,100 signatures.

    In the petition posted online by Kathy Haggard, the principal, Dr. Kathleen Hagstrom, was accused of harassment, making inappropriate and racist comments and retaliating against people who've voiced concerns about her conduct.

    In a message on the school's website, Dr. Hagstrom outlined the importance of training students on skills that will help "alleviate their stress," helping them "think outside the box," and preparing "the children of today for the world of tomorrow."

    According to the online pentition, Dr. Hagstrom has repeatedly called the police on African American and Latino students, which the writer described as a “scare tactic to force families to transfer from Disney.”

    The mother of a student, who chose not to identify herself, said her fifth grade son has been severely bullied ever since he started at the school. 

    "It's the person getting bullied. It's their fault. That's kind of the message I got," the mother said.

    Police reports filed on behalf of the boy outline numerous incidents involving doctor visits after every attack. Although his injuries were minor, the effect was much worse.

    The mother said Dr. Hagstrom suggested in an email that her son transfer schools.

    "Very vulgar. Very intimidating," the boy's mother added. "Cut you off. You don't get to say what you need to say. Not an open, fair conversation. This is the way it's gonna go, and that's it." 

    The petition also included dozens of comments from alumni, parents and graduates who outlined their negative experiences with Dr. Hagstrom. A handful of commenters came to the principal's defense.

    NBC 5 reached out to a Chicago Public Schools spokesperson who did not provide an official response as of Friday night.

    The next scheduled Disney Local School Council meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. 

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