Some parents and community members are up in arms about a controversy surrounding the principal of Lincoln High School who was asked to leave her job as a disharmonious atmosphere continues to grow on campus.
NBC San Diego has confirmed that embattled Lincoln High School principal Esther Omogbehin, also known as "Dr. O," was asked to leave her position and create a job of her choice within the district.
According to numerous sources, Omogbehin was asked to leave by school board member Marne Foster and a representative of the school district’s human resources department.
Sources say the request was made during a closed-door meeting Thursday night when Foster asked Omogbehin if she would speak to her for a few minutes. People at the meeting said they waited, anticipating that the meeting wouldn’t last long.
After a much longer time than expected, Omogbehin emerged and told community members she had been asked “to pick the job she wanted to do” and that did not include staying at Lincoln.
The request that she step down comes as Omogbehin continues to try to revamp Lincoln. The school, which located in southeast San Diego, has been one of county's most ambitious, yet challenged campuses.
In recent years, Lincoln has undergone a major, costly remodeling and has tried to better its environment and student's performance.
Meanwhile, the situation surrounding Omogbehin has become fraught with allegations of bullying and mismanagement.
Some parents and school faculty have said that Omogbehin has bullied teachers. Furthermore, some claim Omogbehin is making changes at the school without consulting others.
“I think at our school currently if you have an alternative opinion, it shouldn’t be considered dissent, it’s just a different way of looking at it,” Blas said.
At the time, some weren’t happy with Omogbehin’s decision to get rid of Lincoln’s four schools within a school which focused on skills such as engineering, the arts, and public safety.
Supporters of Omogbehin told NBC San Diego her actions so far have been in the best interest of the students.
Among her supporters is Francine Maxwell, who serves as Lincoln High School’s Governance Team Chair. Instead of hurting the school, Maxwell said Omogbehin is improving it by forcing teachers to do their jobs.
“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,” Maxwell said in an interview with NBC San Diego.
Maxwell said asking Omogbehin to step down is wrong and that she isn’t being given the support she needs to make the school a better place for students.
Maxwell claims that the situation has much to do with how Omogbehin is managing some teachers at Lincoln who don’t agree with her style. Maxwell added that instead of siding with Omogbehin, those asking her to step down are siding with that group of teachers.
“Our board trustee has sided with the union and has put politics before our children,” said Maxwell. “She has in essence given the inmates the power to run the institution.”
The district released a short statement about the growing controversy, but did not offer much information about the situation. The statement reads, “Esther is continuing as the principal at Lincoln and we do not comment on rumors.”