St. Louis Park principal put on leave

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH and KELLY SMITH , Staff writers
  • Updated: April 5, 2011 - 6:08 PM

Freida Bailey, principal at Aquila Elementary, was placed on leave after parents complained about her leadership. School officials declined to comment.

Freida Bailey

Photo: St. Louis Park School District,

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A St. Louis Park school principal has been placed on leave following parent complaints about her leadership.

Aquila Elementary School Principal Freida Bailey was put on leave and St. Louis Park High School assistant principal Clarence Pollock was assigned as interim principal at Aquila, the district announced Monday.

The school district declined to disclose any information, citing personnel reasons, but said in a statement that "as always, the school district's highest priority is student safety and achievement, while ensuring a comfortable and supportive educational environment."

During a school board meeting late last month, about 20 parents voiced concerns about Bailey's leadership.

Chris Clarke, who has two daughters at the school, attended the March 21 meeting and said parents are concerned about poor communication from the school and safety issues after a couple of bullying incidents were not resolved or discussed with parents.

"Is it safe to send my kids on a bus? We don't know," he said. "There was no assurances going forward."

He said he wants the school board to improve communication and safety at the school, as well as leadership across the district.

Bailey has worked in education for 24 years, according to the district site. Messages left at her home were not returned. District spokeswoman Sara Thompson said staff members can be put on leave for a variety of reasons.

Board President Julie Sweitzer said the board doesn't comment on personnel and that staffing decisions are not up to the board, but rather the administration. The board meets next on Monday.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482 Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141

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