Dearborn Heights principal reinstated, superintendent on leave after unruly school board meeting
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Dearborn Heights principal was reinstated and a superintendent was put on administrative leave following a rambunctious school board meeting that boiled over into shouting from parents irate and protesting students.
At one point, a woman was escorted out of the meeting for constantly yelling and interrupting speakers.
"You're weak, you're weak," one adult shouted from the back of the crowd.
At the heart of the discontent was a decision by Superintendent Tyrone Weeks to suspend Principal Aaron Mollett.
In an interview with the returning principal Thursday morning, Mollett told FOX 2 he didn't have words for the support he had received.
"I love the kids. There's many of them I've grown up - they've taught me how to do this job. My son's a senior at a different school and I've watched the aspects of these kids grow up. We've become family," he said.
"The amount of messages last night and this morning - it's been amazing."
No clear reason has been given for Mollett's suspension.
A statement from the district shortly after his suspension recognized the principal's popularity and said it had "every intent to support our students’ First Amendment rights to gather peacefully to express their concern."
"We further recognize that students, staff members, and families would like to have more information than we are able to provide. We ask for patience and grace as we work toward the next steps in this highly-sensitive and difficult process."
Mollett is a popular figure in the community and a wave of supporters at the school board meeting appeared to be present in part for him. However, according to the Michigan Education Association, Weeks has been on the other end of several disagreements within the district.
"Find a way to get rid of him like he has gotten rid of so many other people. Make him feel unwelcome like he has done to the rest of the people here," said one parent. "He needs to go."
The reinstatement of Mollett comes after a large student protest from Annapolis High School when a walk-out occurred. On May 9, students, parents, and faculty made their feelings known with signs that read "Bring Back Our Principal."
RELATED: Massive walkout at Dearborn Heights' Annapolis High School after principal's sudden suspension
Those feelings continued to simmer in the following days before boiling over during Wednesday's three-hour school board meeting.
The superintendent is allegedly being investigated for several staff issues.