Parents call for Pinellas principal’s resignation after controversial comment

Pinellas County Schools

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Around a dozen parents met with the principal of Campbell Park Elementary School on Monday after she made a comment some see as racially insensitive, and now, some are calling for her resignation.

Principal Christine Hoffman emailed a class list guideline to staff members last week that suggested that white students should be in the same class.

Concerned staffers called the local chapter of the NAACP.

Hoffman issued an apology, then sent a letter to parents, saying in part:

The guidelines included a statement on assigning white students together, and I explained in the meeting that I was asking that there not be a class with only one white student. I was not asking that all white students in each grade be clustered, as that is not our practice in creating class lists.  I understand how racially insensitive the guideline was.”

“I’m torn,” parent Ebony Jackson said. “I’m torn because again, this is a person over our children here at Campbell Park. I am torn.”

The Monday morning meeting lasted around an hour, parents said. Hoffman apparently left abruptly after, telling them she needed to announce school news over the announcement system.

They described the atmosphere in the meeting as somewhat contentious.

“We don’t trust her level of compassion for our kids,” parent Laketta Davis said. “We don’t trust her guidance for the staff. And I think she needs to resign.”

We asked to speak to Hoffman for this story, but a district spokeswoman said she wasn’t available.

No word what punishment, if any, she faces.

Hoffman plans to meet with parents once again, around 3:45 p.m. Monday.

We’ll have more about Principal Hoffman’s controversial comment tonight at 6 on WFLA News Channel 8.

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