HYDE PARK — The Murray Language Academy local school council has called an emergency meeting for Wednesday night after discovering the school’s assistant principal had suddenly been fired.
Rhonda Butler, assistant principal at the school since July 2014, was fired on May 16 and served her last day at the school on Friday, according to Leslé Honoré-Smith, chairman of the LSC.
The decision to fire Butler was made by Principal Greg Mason, said Honoré-Smith and another LSC member. Mason has not explained to the LSC why he decided to fire Butler, Honoré-Smith said.
“Still none of us on the council has heard from Mason,” she said. “She didn’t do anything wrong to get terminated — the breaches of trust are huge.”
The LSC is calling an emergency meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at the school, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., to give parents a chance to weigh in on Butler’s firing. The council will also considering adding a note to Chicago Public Schools on the principal evaluation for Mason, whose contract was recently renewed for another four years as principal.
Mason declined to discuss Butler.
“We don’t discuss personnel matters,” Mason said. “We keep things very private at the school.”
He said he was planning on attending tonight’s meeting on Butler.
Butler was not available to comment.
Honoré-Smith said she was worried that the ending the year with a vacant assistant principal position could jeopardize the school’s chances of getting the position funded for next year. She said she had reached out to CPS and the LSC network and was told CPS typically does not continue to fund positions that are vacant at the end of the school year.
A spokesman for CPS was not immediately available to comment.
“I want to know what his plan is,” Honoré-Smith said. “How is he going to run this school without an assistant principal?”
She said the decision to remove Butler, who she was was popular among teachers and parents, has rattled the school.
She said on Tuesday teachers held a no-confidence vote on Mason that passed with a majority.
It remains unclear whether a new assistant principal will be hired to finish out the remainder of the school year.
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