As part of the ongoing fallout from an investigation into the use of a seclusion room at McAuliffe International School, Denver Public Schools has barred an administrator responsible for overseeing the school from all district facilities and information systems.
The administrator is Colleen O’Brien, the executive director of the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone. She oversees three semi-autonomous Denver schools, including McAuliffe, a popular middle school that has been involved in several high-profile controversies this year.
Families and educators at McAuliffe have been on edge for months and staged a “walk-in” Tuesday morning to protest what they see as DPS’s attempts to dismantle their school. Principal Kurt Dennis was fired in July after he spoke up about gun violence and safety concerns, and the district opened an investigation into the improper use of seclusion rooms at McAuliffe in August. McAuliffe’s innovation status — which allows the school extra flexibility in scheduling and programming — is also up in the air right now.
The actions against O’Brien appear to be further fallout from the seclusion room investigation.
“After a thorough and careful review of the outcomes from the ongoing investigation, it has become clear that the actions and oversight under Dr. Colleen O’Brien have been in direct conflict with district policy and the values and standards we uphold in Denver Public Schools,” the district said in a statement Tuesday.
Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.
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