KATY, Texas — A junior high school principal is returning to her job today after she was put on leave earlier this month, possibly for linking to a Christian website in the school’s e-newsletter.
According to reports, Seven Lakes Junior High School Principal Imelda Medrano was placed on leave on Jan. 12, just days after she had included a link in the school’s e-newsletter that belonged to the Christian website Crosswalk.com. The parenting article provided warnings about how sexual predators use apps to prey on children.
“Sexual predators can target your children even when your child is in the room down the hall,” it read. “And sexual predators aren’t the only problem. Cyber-bullying and exposures to sexually inappropriate content are additional concerns.”
But the Katy Independent School District soon sent out an email to parents, instructing them to ignore the article and to refer to the district’s policy on bullying.
“On Friday, January 9, you may have received an eNews containing an article titled ‘9 Most Dangerous Apps for Kids’ which was obtained from a website that had not undergone a thorough review and approval process for content distribution. Please disregard that article and content,” the email read.
However, when asked about why Medrano had been placed on administrative leave, officials would not state why the principal was seemingly being punished or if the link had anything to do with the situation. According to KHOU-TV, the district generally advised that Medrano was not accused of any criminal activity, nor any conduct that would put student safety at risk, but that a review was underway regarding potential issues surrounding administration of Seven Lakes High School.
A group of concerned parents soon launched a Facebook page calling for Medrano’s reinstatement, along with a petition on iPetitions.
“We, the parents and friends of Seven Lakes Junior High School, have created this petition to show our unwavering support for and desire to have Dr. Imelda Medrano return to active duties as Principal of Seven Lakes Junior High School,” the petition read.
“Dr. Medrano has created a positive culture of growth and learning at the school. She is available and approachable to both parents and students. Her caring and devotion to the school are second to none,” it continued. “[W]e respectfully request that Dr. Medrano be reinstated immediately.”
Supporters on the “Support Dr. Medrano” Facebook page also noted that the Katy ISD Police Department later posted the exact same article that the principal did, but the department soon took it down as well.
On Friday, the district sent out another email, advising that Medrano would return to work on Tuesday.
“Following an administrative review, I am pleased to share that effective Thursday afternoon, January 22, 2015, Dr. Medrano was reinstated as principal at SLJH,” wrote Superintendent Alton Frailey.
“I appointed Dr. Medrano to open SLJH in 2012 and since then, she has demonstrated successful leadership capacity at the school,” he continued. “She has my full support and confidence as she continues as principal at SLJH.”