Officials praised the “courage” and “honesty” of a Swampscott, Massachusetts elementary school principal who came out as transgender last month, but now they’re letting her go, according to reports.
Superintendent Pamela Angelakis said Thursday she decided not to renew a contract for Stanley Elementary School Principal Shannon Daniels when it expires on June 30, the Boston Globe reported. She says she told Daniels earlier this week.
Daniels, 52, took a leave of absence after she reported receiving messages regarding her gender identity that she considered hurtful, Angelakis has said, NBC Boston reported. Parents were told early last week that Daniels’ leave of absence was extended indefinitely, the Daily Item reported.
Angelakis didn’t give a reason for the decision not to renew Daniels’ contract, CBS Boston reported.
“As this is a personnel matter, and out of respect for Principal Daniels’ privacy, I will not be commenting on the reasons for this decision, she wrote in an email to parents.
But the announcement came after some parents signed and submitted a petition declaring “no confidence” in Daniels ability to lead the school. It accused Daniels of creating a toxic environment for students and staff, and failing to listen to parents and staff, according to the Boston Globe.
Organizers said they’ve been dissatisfied with Daniels performance long before she disclosed her gender identity, the newspaper reported.
Before the petition, some parents told NBC Boston that they support Daniels’ decision to come out, but disapprove of her job performance.
“We embrace diversity. We’re not going to embrace incompetence,” said Nicole Nichols, a parent at the school. She added that “we feel we are being misrepresented.”
Others said people are coming down too hard on Daniels, the news station reported. But some also felt she made her announcement too swifty, the Boston Globe reported.
Shannon Daniels had wrote in a letter to the school community that she’s transgender and will start identifying as female and using her middle name, Shannon, as her first name instead of Tom.
“I said, internally I’m a female and I want to be one,” Daniels told The Gloucester Times. “It gave me this incredible peace and happiness. It was just right.”
Daniels told the Daily Item she couldn’t comment.