Teachers, staff speak out against principal
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Employees at one South Florida school are complaining about their boss, who they have accused of creating a hostile work environment.
On Tuesday, teachers and staff at Deerfield Beach High School attended a Broward County School Board meeting to complain about their principal, Jon Marlow. "It was very threatening, very hostile," recalled former Deerfield Beach High employee Vanetta Gay.
Another employee said, "It is very hostile."
The school's vice principal Raquel Lipscomb agreed. "I have basically been bullied out of a job," she said.
Lipscomb said she has been vice principal at Deerfield Beach High School for two years. However, now Marlow wants her demoted to a teacher, because Lipscomb said she refused to write up a teacher who, in her opinion, did nothing wrong.
Nearly a dozen employees went before the school board to show their support for Lipscomb and to share their personal stories. One employee told the board, "He initially told me, 'I think you need to find somewhere else to work.'"
Among the disgruntled employees was the school's teacher of the year, who said, "I have been blacklisted and harassed."
According to the Deerfield Beach High employees, since Marlow became the school's principal five years ago, they fear going to work. Broward Schools employee Wanda Kearney said, "As soon as Jon Marlow stepped on campus, that's when all hell broke loose."
The school board is now considering the employees' comments, and Marlow's actions are now under the microscope. "I think that we need to address some of these issues that have been brought forward," said Broward County School Board member Laurie Rich Levinson.
"I've spoken with individuals from the community," Broward County Schools superintendent Robert Runcie said. "It is something that I am continuing to investigate."
The staff says they will not be satisfied until Marlow is removed from his position and peace is restored at Deerfield Beach High. Lipscomb said, "This is proof that anyone who stands up against Mr. Marlow is bullied and harassed."
The school board decided to defer a decision of whether or not to demote Lipscomb until next week's meeting.
7News requested an interview with Principal Marlow, but he has yet to respond.
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