Community rallying against removal of Washington High Principal

NOW: Community rallying against removal of Washington High Principal

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Parents and community members turned out to the Charles Black Center to voice their concerns against the South Bend School Corporation.

Recently, the district decided to transfer Washington High School’s principal Thomas Sims a choice parents say could impact future generations.

“We have more authority then we realize. We got to start demanding that this is gonna happen. I’m not asking you to leave Simms there, I’m telling you," said Henry Davis Sr.

The district's announcement to transfer Sims to Dickinson Middle School starting next school year was not popular for those living on the West Side.

“We’ve had 3 principals since George McCullough retired from there. We need to get stability. They want 97% graduation rate. You will not get that if you keep moving administrators," said a community member.

While it’s not clear whether Sims requested the transfer for some, the movements feel similar to the closure of Lasalle High School several years ago causing concerns history might repeat itself.

“When Lasalle was closed we lost not only a school, but we lost an entire community. We lost housing in that area and then that area became one of the highest foreclosure rates in the city of south bend," said Henry Davis Jr., South Bend Council Member.

Superintendent Todd Cummings maintains the district does not plan to close down Washington.

"We have launched a national and internal search for a new Washington High School principal and will be very selective in our choices so that Washington will continue its upward trajectory of academic and athletic excellence."

But, residents say it’s not enough. They’re calling on the Superintendent to keep Sims in his place or find a replacement already familiar with the district to keep Washington on the successful path it’s been under Sims’ leadership.

“We don’t want charter schools and we definitely do not want any alternative school. We want a core-40 high school here and on the West Side of South Bend so that we are building for future generations," said Henry Davis Jr.

Parents tell ABC57 they plan to keep making their concerns heard at tomorrow night’s school board meeting.

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