DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Public Schools placed a principal on administrative leave on Monday after reports of discrimination. CBS4 first reported on Leanne Hightower in December when dozens of students and parents staged a walkout at McGlone Academy in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood.

The group alleges Hightower showed patterns of discrimination and micro-aggressions toward communities of color.

(credit: McGlone Academy)

On Monday, DPS sent the following letter to McGlone Academy families:

Dear McGlone Academy Families,
As a school community, it’s our priority to keep you informed about events that impact our school and students. Several members of the McGlone community have expressed concerns regarding Principal Leanne Hightower. The District has placed Ms. Hightower on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. This is standard procedure, designed to ensure the integrity of the investigation process, and not an indication of wrongdoing. While Ms. Hightower is out, we will do everything possible to ensure that learning is not interrupted or impacted during this time.

In the interim, Lynn Heintzman, who previously served as principal of McGlone, will be the acting principal. Please know that the school and regional leadership team will also support Ms. Heintzman in her work to ensure the students continue to receive consistency and top-tier instruction.

We will provide updates as we are able. Until then, should you have any questions,
please do not hesitate to call the Family & Community Helpline at 720-423-3054.

Parents told CBS4 they feel ignored by Hightower when they bring up concerns about how their students are being treated.

(credit: CBS)

“We do want her to know like we’re sick of how she’s been treating us, as three students… as young Black students, and how she’s been treating the school,” one student told CBS4 last month. “She’s always doubting me, she thinks about the negative, nothing positive about me.”

Danielle Chavira