A chorus of complaints at Largo Middle
In quick succession, Antelia Campbell went from being the principal of Gibbs High to the principal of Largo Middle to, as of last week, an assistant principal at Dunedin High.
Problem? It depends on who you ask. But if you ask some parents at Largo Middle, they'd say yes.
A number of them complained in writing last year to superintendent Julie Janssen and School Board members. The Gradebook asked for all e-mails and letters sent since late February (when the district responded to a previous records request about Largo Middle) and seven or eight turned up.
The ones from parents had their names blacked out to protect student confidentiality. And we received only printed copies. But we thought a few snippets were worth sharing:
March 8: "In just 6 months, a formerly great school is now the dangerous wild west ... Don't blame the kids, it's the leader."
March 9: Board member Carol Cook to Janssen, referring to the above e-mail: "I need to tell you this is not an isolated concern. After receiving many phone calls from parents and teachers of feeder schools concerned about what is happening at Largo Middle I too, have become concerned."
March 9: "Either train her or get rid of her, but please do not continue to let the school and ultimately the students suffer because of a complete lack of administrative skill."
April 19: "The lack of supervision and control at LMS this past year is beyond comprehension ... This is not the LMS we had come to trust and respect."
May 17: "The current condition of Largo Middle School is one of fear, chaos and lack of leadership. Since the arrival of our new Principal, Dr. A. Campbell, the rules are no longer enforced, bad behavior seems to have become the norm ... "
There's also this June 14 e-mail from Leslie Pohley, the school's science department chair, to board member Linda Lerner: "HOW can they move someone after only one year at a new job????????? I don't get it. Does the word consistency come into play?"
Campbell did not return calls and e-mails from the Gradebook.