Uncertainty Looms at Lincoln High School Amid Principal Controversy

By Rory Devine and Joe Young
|  Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014  |  Updated 8:56 PM PDT
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Lincoln High School Principal Esther Omogbehin has been placed on administrative leave. On Friday, she was asked to step down and take a job of her choice in the district. NBC 7 education reporter Rory Devine has reaction from students and teachers.

Lincoln High School Principal Esther Omogbehin has been placed on administrative leave. On Friday, she was asked to step down and take a job of her choice in the district. NBC 7 education reporter Rory Devine has reaction from students and teachers.

The future of Lincoln High School remained up in the air Tuesday as students, parents and community members were unsure if the school's principal would keep her position.

NBC San Diego reported Friday that Lincoln's principal Esther Omogbehin was asked to leave her position by a member of the school board amid growing disharmony between Omogbehin and some faculty, as well as the school's poor performance.
 
NBC San Diego was told that there would be at 1:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday at the school to discuss next steps. During that meeting, students were to be told Omogbehin, a.k.a. Dr. O, is leaving the school to work in the district offices.
 
On Friday, community members claimed Dr. O was told she had to leave the school by school board member Marne Foster. Dr. O was said to have one option: Pick a new job within the district of her choice and leave her position as principal at Lincoln.
 
The meeting that was supposed to happen Tuesday before students was later canceled by the school district officials who said that it was "inappropriate."
 
Later, at 2:30 p.m., another meeting was set for Lincoln staff where the area superintendent told them what was going on with Dr. O and the current situation at the school. At the meeting, it was announced that Dr. O would leave and go work in the district office.
 
It was also announced that John Ross, who is an administrator at Mira Mesa High School, will be the interim principal. Ross was formerly a vice principal at Lincoln.
 
However, an education source has told NBC San Diego that Dr. O has been told by the area superintendent that the superintendent has lost confidence in her ability to lead and the job at the district office is no longer on the table.
 
Sources said that Dr. O's keys have been taken away and she is currently on administrative leave.
 
The situation at the school has continued to be unclear as some faculty and parents have accused Dr. O of bullying teachers and mismanaging the school. Those questioning Dr. O have protested at school board meetings in the past.
 
Despite Dr. O’s efforts to turn Lincoln around after a costly remodeling, test scores remain low, as does student enrollment. Moreover, some claim that Dr. O is making changes at the school without seeking input from others.
 
Dr. O’s supporters say they see it differently.
 
Supporters tell NBC San Diego that what Dr. O is doing is in the best interest of the students and the school's future.
 
“Dr. O has a plan for the children in this community. She’s brought over $5 million in scholarships to this community for our children and she’s had push back from day one when she was handed the keys,” Francine Maxwell said in an interview with NBC San Diego last week.
 
Check back for updates on this developing story.

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