Superintendent writes letter to reassigned former principal

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We’re looking into new information about a former SCS principal who was investigated for nearly a year and somehow landed a new job.

A letter sent to Terry Ross from Shelby County Schools’ Human Resources Department in July 2019 confirmed that a nearly year-long investigation finally ended. The letter goes on to state that numerous complains were made against Ross while he was the principal at Kingsbury High School. The complaints involved misconduct, bullying, intimidation, grading improprieties and a toxic work environment.

The complaints that we first discovered in Ross’ lengthy file were made by teachers, parents and even the sheriff’s department.

We first told you about those complaints in August 2018. Ross was placed on paid leave immediately after that.

District officials told us they hired an outside firm but have refused to talk about it. They also refused to talk about the investigation for the past year, so the letter is the first bit of information we’ve been able to get.

It states that Ross was cleared of the bullying investigation since the described events, “occurred in your office with no witnesses present.”

It goes on to state that despite “substantial evidence,” allegations of grading inproprieties could not be substantiated for various reasons, including administrative oversight.

The only thing Ross got in trouble for is fostering a toxic work environment and not maintaining professional relationships with staff. He received a five-day suspension.

We also discovered an email, that was sent by the superintendent, stating Ross will no longer be Kingsbury High Schools’ principal. He had been, “demoted to a highly specialized advisor position.”

Human resources followed  up with another email a week later stating Ross’ annual salary would be $100,000. That’s $16,000 less than what he received as principal.


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