A New Mexico middle school principal is serving a suspension for the rest of the year after reportedly posting the names of failing pupils last week in an ill-advised bid to motivate the student body.
J. Kaibah Begay, principal of Tsé Bit’a’í Middle School in Shiprock, is on paid administrative leave, Central Consolidated School District spokesman James Preminger told the Farmington Daily Times. The punishment came down last week, after Begay hung a poster with the names of approximately 100 students in danger of not moving onto the next grade.
"The school told the administration,” Preminger told the newspaper. “Once they told us, we had the poster taken down immediately."
It is Begay’s first year as principal at the school.
The poster went up Monday morning and was taken down Tuesday afternoon. Some 483 students, in sixth through eighth grades, attend the school.
George Schumpelt, the CCSD human resources director, has been appointed the school's acting principal until May 27, which is the last day of school.
Parents learned of the poster in a Wednesday letter from Interim Superintendent Colleen Bowman, who said the matter was being investigated to make sure nothing like it ever happened again.
"These steps are to ensure that this will not happen again and that all school district personnel are familiar and knowledgeable of its academic policies and procedures," Bowman wrote.
Preminger said Bowman apologized to students on Thursday.
"The superintendent wants to build students' self-esteem, confidence and identity and have it be part of the learning environment," Preminger told the newspaper. "We apologize to all students and parents that this happened."