Ramsay students march to Birmingham Board of Education, chanting - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Ramsay students march to Birmingham Board of Education, chanting "Fire Witherspoon"

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Ramsay High School students walk to the Birmingham Board of Education offices, chanting "Fire Witherspoon" Ramsay High School students walk to the Birmingham Board of Education offices, chanting "Fire Witherspoon"
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BIRMINGHAM, AL - More than 100 Ramsay High School students marched to the Birmingham Board of Education offices this morning chanting "Fire Witherspoon and keep Dr. Nettles."

Their principal, Dr. Evelyn Nettles, was transferred to another school during last night's Birmingham Board of Education meeting. Nettles was put on paid administrative leave on May 2. Superintendent Craig Witherspoon cited a "internal administrative personnel issue" as the reason of her leave.

Some of the students at Ramsay say Dr. Nettles is an inspirational person and mother figure to some of the students, which is why they're fighting to get her back to the school. 

The students walked out of school and more than two miles to the Board of Education offices downtown in protest. They stood outside the building chanting until their voices were heard.

"We don't feel like it's fair that our principal be taken away from us without any legit reason. We haven't been told any legit reason why she's being taken away from us. She was one of the best principals we've ever experienced in our lives and we don't feel like it's fair for you to just take someone away from us," Ramsay junior Gabrielle Grayson said.

"As qualified as she is, to send her to Kennedy, that's a way to punish her. Dr. Nettles has done so much for us as National Blue Ribbon school and IB school and for two years. No other principal in the state can say that they've done that but Dr. Nettles did it," Ramsay student Taylor Bigsby said.

Witherspoon released the following statement this afternoon regarding the situation: 

At Birmingham City Schools, academic achievement, coupled with student safety and security, are first and foremost. It is always my intent to put students’ best academic interest and safety first, and I am disappointed when adults compromise either. I am a Superintendent, but I am also a parent. In both of these roles I certainly understand the importance of allowing children to voice their concerns and opinions, in the appropriate context and forum. But I also understand the role in making decisions, sometimes unpopular, that children, and even adults, do not understand due to the lack of background information relative to specific matters.


It is my full intent to meet with the students at Ramsay High School in the near future to provide information that is relevant to the future progress of the school. Any meeting or discussion prior to last night’s board meeting and vote would have been inappropriate, and a breach of established protocol relative to personnel actions and board operating procedures.

RELATED STORIES:
Birmingham school board transfers Ramsay High principal despite public protest (May 13, 2014)
Ramsay High School principal placed on administrative leave (May 2, 2014)
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