North Atlanta High parents and students angry at sudden staff changes

7:14 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Students and parents upset at North Atlanta High changes

  • Former North Atlanta High School Principal Mark Mygrant
  • North Atlanta High School
 PDF Document: NAHSTransition

ATLANTA -- Hundreds of angry students and parents from North Atlanta High School are asking the same question.

"Why? Why? What are you doing to our community?" parent Kim Zemmali told 11Alive News on Monday.

She's one of many parents who want to know why interim Principal Mark Mygrant was removed from his job at North Atlanta High last Friday and several of his top administrators transferred.

After five years, Mygrant retired from the principal's job last spring, but was asked to stay on until his replacement could arrive next month.

Some angry parents have launched an online petition demanding that he and the administrators be reinstated.

Mygrant did not respond to 11Alive's requests for an interview Monday, but plenty of his supporters did.

"It feels very much like the rug had been pulled out from under us," said parent activist Cynthia Brown.

She echoes comments attributed to Mygrant that he was dismissed because of unfounded allegations of racism against some of the administrators under him.

"I know that these allegations are factually untrue and I think that will be brought to light very soon," parent Brown told 11Alive.

Parent activist Julie Davis Salisbury has heard the same scuttlebutt, but said what upsets everyone most is how it was handled.

"People want to understand why it happened, the way it happened," she told 11Alive.

APS offices and schools were closed Monday for the Columbus Day holiday. 

But school spokesman Stephen Alford released this statement:

"On October 1, the Atlanta Board of Education approved Dr. Howard Taylor to serve as the new principal of North Atlanta High School. The transition in leadership that began last Friday is about preparing for our new principal, moving the school in a new direction and delivering an enhanced educational experience for all of our students."

Alford also wrote that Superintendent Erroll Davis will meet with parents and students at Northside High at 6 Tuesday evening to discuss what he has called a "transition."

Some students and parents are planning protests at the school earlier in the day.

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