Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida will have a new principal this week after Christine Hoffman requested that she be transferred. Hoffman’s request stems from outraged parents and community organizers that showed up outside the school on Monday demanding that she be removed.
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Last Tuesday, Hoffman sent an email to staff members requesting that “all white students should be in the same class.” That email was in reference to class rosters for the upcoming school year and included other provisions like “classes need to be heterogeneous [based on testing scores].” The email also suggested that staff “try to keep the number of boys and girls equal” in each class.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, district officials have announced that they will be conducting an “administrative review.” The assistant principal will take over and Hoffman will be placed at district headquarters. It’s unclear if she will be reassigned.
In an attempt to quell the unrest, Hoffman held two parent meetings on Monday. However, after those meetings, the former principal stated that she would be departing because of “the distraction she has caused to the school,” ABC reported. Of the 606 students at Campbell Park, only 49 of them are white.
One parent told the Tampa Bay Times,
You have so many Caucasian white parents who knew of this school being a low-graded school…if white parents wanted their children to attend another school, they would’ve placed them there. They did not. So who is Mrs. Hoffman to decide to separate the whites from the blacks?
Hoffman sent a letter home to parents in which she said, “As a white woman leading a predominantly black school, I am approaching this as an opportunity to learn…I understand how racially insensitive the guideline was.”