UPDATE: Community at odds over departure of Parker High School principal
An update now on a story we first reported last week. For the fourth time in six years, students and faculty at Birmingham's Parker High School have lost their principal. Some say Cedric Tatum needed to go. Others really wanted him to stay.
For instance--the vice president of the school's alumni group--Roderick Rox--says Tatum did a good job as principal. Rox mentions the fact that Tatum re-instated the National Honor Society at the school last spring.
But a math teacher at Parker High--Stephanie Huey--says Tatum didn't do much. Huey says he caused division among teachers by inviting some teachers to meetings and excluding others. Huey says Tatum was also very lenient when it came to disciplining students for bad behavior.
Watch the video for more.
Tatum spoke with ABC 33/40 Thursday about his departure:
"I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the opportunity of working in Woodlawn. I'm excited about the opportunity. I've enjoyed my time at Parker, and, hopefully, we have done things that will be extended and make a difference for students," Tatum says.
Tatum admits he has been at odds with teachers and parents over various issues at Parker High School. It has been reported that there were disagreements over the way student conduct was handled at the school. But Tatum contends those differences did not play a role in his decision to leave the school.
A teacher at Parker High School sent ABC 33/40 a text, she says, Dr. Cedric Tatum sent at 11:26 a.m. Thursday to his faculty:
"Good morning everyone. As you may know I've been reassigned to Hayes K-8. I applied for the position a few weeks ago and the appointment was made on Tuesday night. I believe Hayes to be a unique opportunity, as it has received a school improvement grant and is part of the new Woodlawn initiative. Though I should direct any questions for the new year to Mr. Hudson, your new Administrator, I hope the cohesiveness we began to develop continues under his leadership. I will miss working with most of you and will miss the challenge others provided. Most of all, I will miss the students. I am hear if you need anything.
Sincerely, Mr. T.
[I] have enjoyed my work at Parker, I am excited about what lies ahead. I will be closing out your Ed. AL next week and clearing up any grading issues."
*Tatum confirms with ABC 33/40 he did send out a mass text message to his faculty Thursday morning.
The vice president of the Parker High School Foundation Roderick Rox is upset about the entire situation. Rox says Tatum has made great improvements at the school, including re-instating the National Honor Society last spring.
Rox also says the school's football coach George Bates is also leaving Parker. At this time--ABC 33/40 has only confirmed Tatum's departure. Rox says parents fear the inconsistency in leadership will hurt students.
Darrell Hudson--the principal of Carver High School--will become Parker High school's new principal. Hudson begins July 1.
A Birmingham City Schools spokesperson says Joseph Martin served as principal of Parker High School from 2002 to 2009 before retiring.