Dozens demand answers on Washburn High principal reassignment - KMSP-TV

Dozens demand answers on Washburn High principal reassignment

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

It's been more than a month since the reassignment of Washburn High School's principal Carol Markham-Cousins, but about 150 people went searching for answers at the Minneapolis Public School District's board meeting on Tuesday.

The house was packed, the overflow room was full, and there was even a little spoken word poetry involved in protesting the district's move, which some criticized as being shortsighted.

"We are wondering why principal was asked to quit or to resign or sit behind a desk," read Antoine Duke, posing his question through prose.

Duke performed at the board meeting because he feels questions have gone unanswered for far too long. The Washburn High School graduate, now a resident teacher at the high school, wants to know exactly why his former principal was reassigned on April 11.

"There have been many distractions this year, to the point where we had to make an administrative decision," stated Minneapolis Public School's Chief Communications Officer Stan Alleyne.

Whether Markham-Cousin's reassignment had anything to do with her response to those who hung a black baby doll from the stairwell -- or the clash between herself and Athletic Director Dan Pratt, the general public may never know for certain because the school board is still being tight-lipped.

"We can't really get into the specifics of why we moved Mrs. Markham Cousins," Alleyne said Tuesday.

Yet, Markham-Cousin's was not everyone's favorite principal.

"We're glad she's gone," one female Washburn student exclaimed.

"We just don't think she had a positive influence on our school," another female student told FOX 9 in April.

Outside of Washburn Tuesday afternoon, some athletes expressed appreciation for the formal principal.

"I think she's a great principal personally, I don't think she did anything wrong ever, she was very nice, I don't think she deserved to be reassigned anywhere," said Washburn High School Junior Hunter Galles.

Another male student commended Markham-Cousin's ability to turn the school around academically in six years.

"I would agree with those students," said Rick Cousins, the ousted principal's husband.

Rick Cousins has known Carol Markham-Cousins for more than 40 years.

"This is the hardest thing that's ever happened to her in her life," he said.

Rick Cousins organized supporters to attend Tuesday's school board meeting. Among the students, teachers, and parents that took to the podium, all shared a common thread. A two-fold request:.

"One: An apology -- and two, I would love for her to get her job back." said Duke.

Carol Markham-Cousins currently works at the district's central office. There, she serves alongside associate superintendents performing diversity and equity work. When asked if Markham-Cousins will ever get her job back, Alleyne told FOX 9 she is still in the principal pool.

Alleyne also added he will not be surprised if Markham-Cousins picks up a role as principal again next year, but he did not specify exactly which school she would prospectively serve in.

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