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'Why can't the district just be honest and transparent?' | Families look for answers after Houston ISD suddenly dismisses popular principals

Houston ISD is not providing details on what it considers a personnel matter.

HOUSTON, Texas — On Thursday, many staff were on site preparing for the new school year at Stevens Elementary School.

It's one that will not include its popular principal.

"Everybody woke up to a very impersonal, automated robocall from the district,” said Stevens Elementary parent and PTCO officer Adam Chaney.

He shared a text from that call, which stated, “Principal Erin Trent was informed that she will no longer serve as the principal.”

It added that district staff and the assistant principal would temporarily take over.

"I’ve been a parent the entire tenure of Erin Trent’s administration," said Chaney.  "From day one until, I guess, the last day." 

"She brought that school up from a D rating to a B rating in the midst of COVID and having a baby.”

In addition to Trent, who was still pictured on the school website as of Thursday afternoon, we learned Principal Linda Bellard of Garcia Elementary School was also removed from her position.

Parents and other community members said they suspect it’s because they chose not to opt into the New Education System (NES) overhaul developed by state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles.

However, the district is not providing details on the personnel matter.

“I expected it to be after the start of school,” said Houston Education Association president and math teacher Michelle Williams.

Williams transferred from what will be an NES school and said she heard principals in certain areas were being pressured to get on board by district leadership.

“I can’t speak to what the conversations were behind them being removed, but I had gotten wind that some principals, several principals, were going to be removed,” said Williams.

"Why can’t the district be honest and transparent?” asked Chaney.

Chaney was confident the school year will still get off to a good start next Monday despite a big loss in leadership.

We reached out to both principals Trent and Bellard.

Bellard responded by saying no comment at this time. We had not heard from Trent as of the time this story was posted.

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