For Second Time, Kilmer Elementary Principal Suspended

By Benjamin Woodard on January 21, 2013 1:56pm 

 Kilmer Elementary Principal Lawrence White (second from right) listened to parent and teacher testimony at a Nov. 20, 2012, Local School Council meeting.
Kilmer Elementary Principal Lawrence White (second from right) listened to parent and teacher testimony at a Nov. 20, 2012, Local School Council meeting.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Kilmer Elementary School Principal Lawrence White was suspended Friday for the second time in his two-year tenure at the school, officials said.

The circumstances surrounding the sudden suspension weren't immediately known, but a letter was sent to parents and teachers last week informing them that an interim principal would be taking over as head of the school.

"Due to confidential personnel matters, the only thing we can confirm at this time is that Mr. White has been reassigned with pay pending the review of a personnel matter," said CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus.

The letter to parents, written by CPS chief of high schools Craig Benes, did not provide a reason for the suspension.

White had been reinstated as principal in September following a six-month suspension in March after two students claimed he physically abused them. Although he was quickly cleared by police of allegations that he shoved them, he didn't return to his job for several months.

Teachers and parents have complained that the school has been in "turmoil" since White's reinstatement.

Katina Brown, whose son Quinton Brown accused the principal of shoving him, retained a lawyer in November after White returned to his position, but has since dropped the case, she said.

She expressed shock when informed that White had again been suspended.

"I got what I wanted then," Katina Brown said.

The school was also put on academic probation this year by CPS for low test scores.

Parents and teachers who attended a Nov. 20 Local School Council meeting weren't happy about the school's academic status.

Sophal Vann, a parent and 30-year-old Marine veteran, was among more than 50 parents who voiced their frustration.

"I see nothing but failure in this school," shouted Vann, who interrupted the meeting and was eventually asked to leave by the LSC chairwoman.

 Kilmer Elementary School Principal Lawrence White was cleared of abuse allegations last year but suspended again on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. 
Kilmer Elementary School Principal Lawrence White was cleared of abuse allegations last year but suspended again on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. 
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

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