DENVER (KDVR) — At Denver’s Manual High School Tuesday night, dozens of students and parents spoke out against the termination of McAuliffe International principal Kurt Dennis.
Dennis has been the principal at McAuliffe since the school opened 12 years ago. He believes he was fired after giving an interview criticizing Denver Public Schools’ policy to have administrators pat down students who need extra security screenings. The interview was with a local news outlet in response to a student shooting involving two deans during a screening at East High School.
“It is questionable that DPS decided Principal Dennis was suddenly not a fit manager immediately after he blew the whistle on the danger at his school,” said one student at the meeting.
Outside the front entrance, Katie Rustici handed those walking into the meeting a letter from Dennis.
Dennis said in part, “I redacted all personal information that could be used to identify the student,” and “at no time did I provide any information that could be used to identify the student- not name, gender, grade, age, ethnicity, etc.”
The Denver school board will now vote on whether to uphold or reject the termination.
DPS Board Vice President Auon’tai Anderson said if it votes to reject it, Dennis would be assigned to a different job within the district and will not return to McAuliffe no matter what.
Anderson said he’s undecided on how to vote and wants more information from the district, including Dennis’ personnel file.
“I’m truly undecided on this matter,” Anderson said. “I want to make sure we’re a district that upholds student privacy, and also a district that protects individuals that feel that they’re not being listened to.”