Denfeld High School Principal Tonya Sconiers was placed on administrative leave on June 18 by the Duluth school district, and Sconiers said she has been working with an attorney to investigate "illegal actions" taken by the school district.
Duluth Public Schools Superintendent Bill Gronseth confirmed on Friday that Sconiers was placed on administrative leave. She was the subject of allegations the nature of which are private, Gronseth said. The story first broke Friday evening following a report from WDIO-TV.
Sconiers said in an interview with the News Tribune Friday that the district was performing "illegal actions" and she was investigating district leaders.
"In the best interest of the students who I've been working with for the last 19 years, we're attempting to resolve the district's illegal actions," she said.
She didn't respond to additional questions, but said, "Rest assured, if forced to take legal actions, you will be hearing a whole lot more from us."
A statement provided by her attorney, Ben Kwan, said the district placed Sconiers on leave around six weeks after it was notified of her and her lawyer's investigation.
"We have been investigating legal claims against Duluth Public Schools on behalf of Principal Sconiers since April," the statement read. "The district placed Principal Sconiers on leave more than six weeks after we first informed the district about our investigation. We have advised Principal Sconiers not to make any public comments while we attempt to resolve her legal claims in a manner that is in the best interest of the students of Duluth Public Schools — students she has passionately served for nearly two decades. Rest assured, if Principal Sconiers is forced to take legal action, the public will hear much more from her and us.”
Kwan said they are working to "resolve her legal claims" without moving forward with a lawsuit.
The district will decide on an experienced substitute principal shortly, Gronseth said.
Further questions about Sconier's allegations against the school district were directed to the district's attorney, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Because it is a "legal matter," Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, chairwoman of the Duluth School Board, said she was directing media questions to the district's public relations and human resource staff members.
Sconiers was appointed principal by the School Board in 2012 after serving as interim principal. The decade before the appointment, she worked as assistant principal.