Parents of students at Chicago's Lincoln Park High School gathered at a local school council meeting Thursday night to demand answers nearly two weeks after the firings of the school's top two administrators.
Interim Principal John Thuet and Assistant Principal Michelle Brumfield were both removed from their positions Jan. 31 amid an investigation into "serious allegations of misconduct" involving the school's boys basketball team. Boys Basketball Coach Donovan Robinson was also reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation and the team's season was suspended.
CPS received reports of alleged sexual misconduct, student-on-student retaliation and "systemic school-wide issues" regarding misconduct and sports violations, according to the district. CPS cited the severity of the allegations and the adverse culture in suspending the boys' basketball team's season.
At Thursday night's meeting, LSC members and parents questioned the reason behind the firings, and some parents wondered why the council members didn't demand answers from CPS.
"I'm disappointed. I encourage you to develop a backbone," one father said, referring to the LSC.
However, others completely stand behind the council's actions.
"I know that you can't explain everything you've done behind the scenes, but I can go on record to say to you, gentleman, you have no idea what you said," said parent Shannon Waterfield. "We're on the same team."
The council said it wants the administrators rehired, unless CPS can show evidence against them. Also at Thursday night's meeting, the council voted to hire a pro-bono lawyer to independently investigate the firings.
In a statement responding to Thursday night's meeting, CPS officials said Lincoln Park administrators failed to promote the best interests of their students and endangered victims who were counting on their support.
"While we understand this is a challenging time for the school community, administrators must prioritize the safety of all students and failures of integrity cannot be excused," the statement added.