Austin ISD principal accused of discrimination ‘will not be returning’

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Late Wednesday afternoon, Andrews Elementary School staff and parents received a letter saying the school’s principal “will not be returning.”

Gabriela Soto had been placed on leave and Austin ISD said April 8 it was investigating after multiple grievances were filed against her. Those complaints claimed she discriminated against undocumented families and students.

“Please be assured that we will continue to review and address the concerns that have been brought forward regarding Andrews Elementary,” wrote Betty Jenkins, Austin ISD’s executive director.

Soto became the Andrews Elementary School principal in January 2018. Jenkins said Diana Vallejo will continue to serve as the substitute principal, but didn’t elaborate on when a new principal would be hired.

“We will work with Ms. Vallejo to continue to create the safest possible environment for Andrews students, families, and employees, providing them with the foundation needed to learn, thrive, seek assistance and information, and reach each child’s potential in an education-focused environment, free of insecurity and fear, regardless of immigration status,” Jenkins wrote. “We are committed to working collaboratively to restore trust.”

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