Teacher takes to Youtube to defend Douglass principal

Posted on: 4:48 pm, October 18, 2012, by , updated on: 06:25pm, October 18, 2012


OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City teacher takes to the web to defend an embattled school principal.

Last week the Oklahoma City school district suspended Douglass high Principal Dr. Brian Staples.

Staples is accused of tampering with grades and attendance numbers.

He remains on paid leave.

In the meantime, the drama teacher at Douglass produced a video and put it on YouTube defending Staples.

“I hope people understand Dr. Staples is not the villain they’re making him out to be,” Tinasha LaRaye Williams said. “I wanted people to see what I see inside Douglass high school.”

In a stack of affidavits released last week, former teachers and students at Douglass alleged principal Staples changed student grades and altered school attendance records.

Yet Williams points out poor performance by some teachers necessitated the changes.

Williams said, “The grade change comes from reflecting on, did the student learn what the teacher taught. If the teachers did not teach, how can I give you an F?”

Williams also suspects racism is behind some of the allegations leveled against a white principal at a school with mostly minority students.

“There has been a race card pulled,” Williams said. “I’ve never seen Dr. Staples look at race. I am in no way accusing the district of any disservice.”

Williams isn’t worried about being disciplined because she isn’t accusing the district of doing anything wrong.

She just the felt the video allowed her to speak her mind and defend her former boss.

“I wanted them to know the man I’ve grown to know,” Williams said. “He’s trying to find a way to change this community and change these students’ lives.”

District leaders have seen the video and didn’t have any comment.

Staples remains on paid leave while the US Department of Education investigates the case.