After complaints, Arleta School principal won’t return

Education

Diana Kruger out after 'unknown white substance' ingested by student

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Months after parents loudly complained about the principal at Arleta School in Southeast Portland, the regional superintendent announced that Diana Kruger would not return to the school.

The controversy erupted in late October after a student ingested what they said Kruger told them was crack cocaine.

The unknown white substance was given to the student by another student, officials said on October 31.

In a letter to parents at that time, Kruger said she contacted police as soon as she heard about it. She said all of the families of the students who may have eaten the substance were also contacted.

The student who ate the substance didn’t show any immediate signs of being sick but was taken to a doctor by their family, Kruger said.

Parents petitioned Deputy Superintendent Kregg Cuellar to have Kruger put on administrative leave.

Their concerns were not just about the cocaine incident but “about the school environment” since Kruger arrived. They also said “neither Poison Control nor 911 was called” when the crack cocaine was ingested.

In early November, PPS brought in a retired school principal “to provide administrative leadership support.”

On Thursday, Regional Superintendent Esther Omogbehin sent a letter to the parents at Arleta School on a number of topics but addressed the principal’s status early on.

“I am deeply appreciative of the flexibility and partnership that the entire Arleta community has extended to Principal Horn and me over what has been a challenging last couple of months. I am also grateful for the amazing staff at Arleta–every time I am on campus I can see, hear and feel the positivity and true commitment our professionals bring to the school, all in service of our students.

“For those of you who could not join us, please find a couple of related updates at the end of this message. Before that, I want you to know that Diana Kruger will not be returning as Arleta principal. Principal Horn has generously agreed to stay on through the remainder of this school year in order to provide stability for students and staff while we begin our search for a new, permanent principal. That process will include opportunities for your input and participation, and I will have more information about how families can be involved once we return from winter break. I commit to you that the process will be inclusive and transparent.”

The letter also announced Kristyn Westpahl, a former principal at a PPS school, will take over the role of Area Senior Director for Arleta.

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