Rainier View principal pulled from current position after ongoing complaints

A principal at the center of controversy at her school has been pulled from her job at Rainier View Elementary and was temporarily reassigned to the district's central office. 

Due to ongoing complaints about principal Anitra Pinchback-Jones, the district held three meetings on April 2 for families to voice their concerns. There was also a survey available in case parents didn't feel comfortable speaking in person. 

Pinchback-Jones' transfer comes after years of alleged complaints from parents and staff, claiming she fostered an "oppressive" and "traumatic" environment at school. 

"Staff are fearful of their jobs and feel defeated in any attempt to defend their morals, their jobs, their students and their families. Jones' abuse of power has caused staff to seek outside mental health counseling. When you view [the] elementary school under Jones' leadership, she creates a toxic work environment for staff and even worse educational setting for our children," a staff member said during a meeting in March. 

"Staff who raised concerns do not feel safe have raised numerous concerns about retaliation. Educators are leaving at record rates," another teacher said at that March meeting. 

The complaints ranged from allegations of disproportionate discipline of Black and Brown students, to former teachers saying they got low evaluation scores if they questioned Jones on issues.

In a letter to parents, the district said the move was not an indication that principal Jones has done anything wrong: they say it's needed to foster peace while they look into the complaints.

Back in 2018, the South Seattle Emerald did a feature piece on principal Jones after she won the Thomas B Foster Award for Excellence, which is an award given to principals who close the opportunity gap in their schools.

The district said last month that any action would be taken before spring break starts on April 8. 

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