West Metro Education Program Superintendent On Leave, Principal Suspended
The program has FAIR schools in Crystal and Minneapolis and includes students from the following districts: Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony/New Brighton, St. Louis Park, Columbia Heights and Wayzata.
The superintendent of a program that includes students from 11 Twin Cities districts is on paid leave, according to a Star Tribune story. In addition, the program's principal was suspended for two days.
The West Metro Education Program (WMEP)'s Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource (FAIR) schools in Crystal and Minneapolis are "designed for a diverse student population," according to the Minneapolis Public Schools website.
Students attend the FAIR schools from the following districts: Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony/New Brighton, St. Louis Park and Wayzata, according to the FAIR School website.
FAIR Principal Kevin Bennett recently was suspended "for infractions in three areas," the Star Tribune story said. They include:
- Not reporting an altercation at the Minneapolis school
- Attending a conference with a fellow employee and "conduct unbecoming a principal"
- Asking employees out for dinner and drinks, which could be viewed as harassment
Bennett was named middle school principal of the year in January 2012.
The Star Tribune's article on Wednesday did not say why Superintendent Dan Jett is on paid leave. There is a temporary superintendent in place.
The WMEP district "was formed in 1989 as a way to provide opportunities for Minneapolis minority students to attend the Crystal school while drawing white suburbanites to the downtown school," according to the story.
However, program board member Carla Bates told the Star Tribune, "The Crystal school’s arts-focused program drew many white, middle-class students from Minneapolis and the downtown school drew many low-income minority students from suburbs, reinforcing metro segregation."
The board is trying to address those issues, Bates said.