MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students and faculty are asking questions as to why their principals are being let go from the Shelby County School District. However, the district said it's standard protocol done every year after faculty is assessed in multiple areas.
Malcolm Walker has three Bolton High Wildcats at home and one who graduated last year.
"Just a good school. I don't have any bad reports or anything bad to say about it," he said.
He said one commonality through all their time has been Principal Chad Stevens.
"I have nothing but good things to say about him."
Which is why he was shocked when we told him the schools district is letting Stevens go.
Students said their teachers confirmed the news for them when rumors started going around.
“Everybody’s talking about it, so pretty much everybody knows," said one Bolton high senior who didn't want to use her name.
And some of them have taken to the internet to try and reverse the decision. Over 1,500 people have signed a petition called “Support for the Most Loyal Bolton Wildcat – Mr. Chad Stevens.”
“He was actually a good principal to me," said the high school student. "I was upset to hear he was leaving.”
The district said he’s one of "several" principals being terminated at the end of the year. They said it’s common procedure done annually after every principal is evaluated separately.
“We really look closely at student achievement data," said Dr. Sharon Griffin, chief of schools. "Not only that, we look at attendance and discipline data. We look at teacher retention [and] just the overall culture and climate of the school.”
Parents said they're surprised they didn't hear about this year's changes sooner.
"I'm surprised because usually it's something that's real crucial, they would let us parents know," Walker said.
The district would not say the exact number of principals being let go, but officials did confirm Germantown Elementary School’s principal is also one of them.
District leaders said they’ve done this for years now and will continue to do it throughout the rest of the year.