Questions surround removal of popular principal at Armstrong High School

March 04, 2019 10:36 PM

The removal of a beloved Principal in the Robbinsdale School District has created questions and confusion.

And Monday night, dozens of parents, students and fellow staffers showed up at the school board meeting to get answers.


"It feels very sudden, it doesn't feel traditional," said Jessica Ledoux.

David Dahl has been the Principal at Armstrong since 2002. He created an environment of treating all students equally, whether they are athletes or artists. At the crowded meeting, Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins said Dahl's new title would be Principal on Special Assignment. 

"It's a person assigned to other duties within the district," he said.

Dr. Jenkins said Dahl will be in charge of implementing a plan to improve the district's discipline gap. Last year, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights cited Robbinsdale and 42 other districts statewide for denying students of color and students with disabilities educational access. 

The report maintained those two groups were twice as likely to be suspended or expelled as white students. And, the more students were absent from the class, the less likely they were to graduate.

"This is bigger than Armstrong, I have to look at the district in totality," said Dr. Jenkins.

More from KSTP:

'We need to change the system': Richfield High School principal works to address opportunity gap

District investigates report of substitute teacher allegedly relieving herself in classroom

Dahl was set to retire at Armstrong with the graduating class of 2020. 

Marco Bibriezca is a senior and represents the student body.

"I don't see why he needs to be moved, especially in his last year," Marco questioned.

"Why uproot a 20-year Principal with proven results and data to prove who's doing good things by the district and children," parent Debbie Shapiro wondered. 

The superintendent said Dahl will receive the same pay and benefits. There will be a meeting at Armstrong High School this Thursday and another one next week with a parent's group to gather input and develop a profile of what the community wants in its next leader. 

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Beth McDonough

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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