Austin principal who faced discrimination complaints resigns

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Facing allegations of discrimination against immigrant parents and her removal from the post in April, Austin school principal Gabbie Soto will resign her job.

Soto, who previously served as principal of Andrews Elementary, told administrators of her plans at the end of the school year, citing health issues and other career opportunities, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

She will remain an employee until June 28, the end of her contract year.

The newspaper noted that school district leaders wouldn’t provide reasons for her removal in April, but pointed out that the end of her tenure came only days after some parents at Andrews alleged Soto had barred them from attending field trips or serving as campus parent-teacher association officers due to their immigration status.

Some members of Andrews’ staff also claimed that Soto created a hostile work environment at the school, the American-Statesman reported.

Soto told the newspaper on Wednesday that she decided to retire for health reasons and took medical leave during spring break. She said she plans to move to El Paso, a school district where she previously worked.

“It had nothing to do with these individuals making all these false allegations and trying to get rid of me,” Soto said.

She also told the newspaper that chaperones on field trips must provide valid identification so the district can conduct a background check, but said she never told parents they couldn’t go on a field trip.

“I would never, never discriminate against any children regardless of where they come from or their backgrounds,” Soto said.

 

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