Disney Magnet School Principal Abruptly Retires After Parents Petition for Her Firing
The principal at Walt Disney Magnet School on Chicago‘s North Side abruptly retired on Monday following a scathing petition that outlined accusations of harassment, discrimination and bullying, Chicago Public Schools confirmed.
Dr. Kathleen Hagstrom was named in an online petition that had more than 1,400 signatures as of Monday afternoon.
The network chief for Chicago Public Schools announced Principal Hagstrom’s retirement in a letter to the school community, and added that an administrator-in-charge was appointed while the district searched for a new principal.
Although a handful of commenters came to the principal’s defense on the petition’s page, dozens of people outlined their negative experiences with Dr. Hagstrom. The petition also contained allegations of retaliation and unfair labor practices under the principal’s leadership.
One mother who said her son had been repeatedly bullied told NBC 5 on Friday that Dr. Hagstrom said her son should transfer schools.
“Very vulgar. Very intimidating,” the boy’s mother said when describing the principal. “Cut you off. You don’t get to say what you need to say. Not an open, fair conversation. This is the way it’s gonna go, and that’s it.”
In the letter to the school community on Monday, the CPS network chief said a community meeting will be scheduled to discuss the leadership change and transition plans.
A previously scheduled Disney Local School Council meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.