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Principal fired over affair with subordinate

November 12, 2010 8:30:58 PM PST
A well known and well liked high school principal from Harlem has been fired after a scandalous love affair.

Crystal Simmons was the founding principal of the Academy of Social Action, but was abruptly removed this week after authorities learned she had a lesbian relationship with a subordinate.

Inside the Academy for Social Action on Friday night, music and dim light came from the 3rd floor. It was a Friday night dance for students.

But it's what allegedly went on during the daylight hours between Principal Crystal Simmons and Assistant Principal Candy Jones that may cause them both to lose their jobs.

According this October report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation, "...they engaged in intimate conduct in the school during school hours."

Simmons was removed from the school earlier this week, which led to a massive protest by teachers.

"We're trying to reach out to anyone who can support us and give us answers as to why is she being let go. We don't know anything," Julian Palanco, a senior, said.

"They haven't told us anything. They're keeping it a big secret. They won't tell us exactly what they are investigating," another student, Carolina Goris, said.

The answers can be found in a four page report. The report says the sexual relationship started in 2007. Simmons promoted her as an assistant principal in April 2009. Their relationship became strained in that September, and Jones was fired at the end of that school year.

This past June, Simmons went to the DOE for help and "...reported that Assistant Principal Jones had threatened to kill Simmons if Jones received a 'U' rating."

That launched the investigation, which found that Jones told a co-worker "it was easy to buy a gun down south and that her father had already purchased one for her."

In a written statement the Department of Education said, "In a setting where the focus is supposed to be on student learning, conduct like this is simply unacceptable."

Simmons is described as a loving devoted principal and is already missed.

"We need our principal back because ASA doesn't know what they're going to do without her," Moriah Foy, ASA Student Council President, said.

According to the report, the NYPD did investigate threats to kill Principal Simmons, but the case was closed. The DOE plans to turn over its findings to the Manhattan DA's office.


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