Former Manual principal Nick Dawkins explains resignation

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DENVER -- Nick Dawkins, the Manual principal who resigned Friday morning, explained the details surrounding his decision Saturday.

Dawkins said he left for a number of reasons, and this was ultimately a family decision.

Earlier this week, Dawkins was told he was being investigated after staff members reported complaints of a hostile work environment and that was a factor in his decision.

Dawkins said it was also a year of trauma for Manual High School.

Dawkins referenced student deaths, guns found on campus, a shooting on school grounds and the controversial Confederate flag incident at a football game.

"After that, I received a lot of racial attacks and I actually was called a (n-word) and all kind of things. I had security watching the house and things like that, that really impacted my family," Dawkins said.

The decision to step down was two days after Dawkins was told he was under investigation, and that he would have to step away from the school while officials looked into things.

Dawkins said he wouldn't have stepped down if there was no investigation. He did talk about why he thinks some co-workers might say there is a hostile environment.

"In terms of what I was doing, certainly my tone, I'm a passionate person and we have conversations about equity with 90 percent free and reduced lunch and 90 percent minority. That's a passion and those are difficult conversations," Dawkins said.

As for the students, according to the district, 90 percent of them report being satisfied with their school experience under the leadership of Dawkins.

Manual showed growth and change in his time as principal, and he wants the students to know that this is not the end.

"I love you, I care, we never ever would give up, we always move forward and we keep giving back." Dawkins said.

Dawkins doesn't know what's next professionally. He said it's time to focus on his family.

Dawkins said Leslie Branch-Wise, the woman accusing Mayor Michael Hancock of harassment, is his sister.

When asked if his resignation is related to that, he had no comment.

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