Parents are demanding answers after management and personality conflicts at Clinton Christian School in Upper Marlboro led to the principal’s resignation earlier this month.
Former principal Carlos Williams said school president Steve Layne gave him a written warning Nov. 20 about creating a hostile work environment. Williams said the warning came after he reprimanded a teacher for tardiness and expelled a student who consistently failed to wear his school uniform.
Williams said he was forced to resign Jan. 2 after Layne demanded he sign a “corrective action plan” without ample time to consult his attorney. The plan, which Layne gave him Dec. 29, severely limited Williams’ role at the school, according to Williams, who first became principal in August 2011.
“At that point it was too much harassment and too much damage had been done that it was practically impossible to return,” Williams said. “I never want to leave families in the middle of the year, but it left me no choice.”
Layne, who is also the pastor of Life Church in Upper Marlboro, said the school could not comment publicly on any matter related to a staff member’s employment.
“Legally we’re not permitted to give the details of any personnel issue, which makes it difficult to alleviate some of the particular concerns the parents might have,” Layne said.
Victoria Davis, 48, of Clinton, the mother of a second-grader, said the sudden departure of the principal disturbed her.
“Mr. Williams was very hands-on,” Davis said. “He was always there in the morning, letting the kids in, directing traffic, different things. He was very visible.”
She said Layne would not meet with the school’s Parent Teacher Fellowship to address concerns and parents have had trouble arranging one-on-one meetings.