Warren charter school students protest principal’s firing

Summit Academy Warren principal James Padula

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Students and parents at a charter school in Warren are searching for a answers after a popular principal was fired.

James Padula, the principal of Summit Academy in Warren, was let go just before spring break. On Tuesday morning, a couple dozen students walked out of the school around 11 a.m. to protest Padula’s firing.

Several students and parents said they have their own ideas as to why he was let go, but the school is not telling them.

“When Mr. Padula came in here, I saw a difference. I heard the difference. My kids were coming home happier. I don’t know exactly what occurred because the school will not elaborate about the true nature of what happened,” parent Nancy Elser said.

“Because he was enforcing policies that they did not agree with and this school is all about the students, but no students were asked their opinion about it,” senior Hannah Calladine said.

Several parents, like Elser, believe some teachers at the school may be responsible for Padula’s ouster.

“I feel that he wanted security cameras and they were being held more accountable for more of their actions, like being on their cell phones all day long texting, talking, and not actually teaching our kids,” Elser said.

The students made signs to show support for Padula, including ones that said “Where is Mr. Padula?” And “Bring Mr. Padula back.”

Sophomore Mia Jones said Padula changed her for the better.

“I used to be disrespectful. Now I am respectful and I really appreciate Mr. P for real,” Jones said.

Summit Academy has had three principals in the the past year.

A spokesperson for Summit Academy said they are proud of the students concern over Padula, but they cannot discuss personnel matters.

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