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Vice Principal Proposes Suspensions, Gets Suspended Himself

December 2, 1994

DENVER (AP) _ A vice principal who wanted to suspend 100 of his school’s 785 students as troublemakers was overruled and himself suspended.

District administrators said that Ruben Perez of Horace Mann Middle School hadn’t consulted his superiors before drawing up suspension letters to parents and that the mass punishment would have violated the youngsters’ rights.

″I cannot support a blanket suspension of 100 or so students,″ said Bernadette Seick, an assistant superintendent of Denver schools.

Perez, who was filling in for the principal while he was out of town, was relieved of his duties indefinitely, with pay.

″If they’re going to give me the power to run a school,″ he said, ″I don’t like them second-guessing me.″

Perez said a team of teachers at had identified 100 disruptive students for suspension. He had prepared - but never sent out - letters to the students’ parents, and planned to suspend the youngsters for up to five days.

″We had a kid that said to a teacher, ’F-you,‴ he said. ″We had a kid that was tardy 27 times, and we’ve called the parent and the parent ends up telling us, ’Oh, yeah, he’s getting up late.‴

Dozens of parents and students from the lower middle-class neighborhood on the city’s west side held a rally at the school Thursday in support of Perez.

″They talk about wanting change, but they don’t want change,″ Terri Freund, a parent, said of administrators. ″They want the status quo.″

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