New allegations reveal why Furr HS principal was removed from school

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Furr High School principal removed from school, Pooja Lodhia reports. (KTRK)

The principal at Furr High School has been relieved of duties after allegations of inappropriate conduct tied to the district's decision to relax student dress code after Hurricane Harvey. Her removal was first reported by ABC13 on Sunday.

Initially, Houston ISD said that 83-year-old Dr. Bertie Simmons was relieved of her duties due to a "personnel matter." In letters obtained by ABC13, the reason for her removal painted a different picture.

According to the letter, an allegation was made that she failed to adhere to the district's decision to relax student dress code for the first semester and that she "verbally threatened students with a baseball bat."
Simmons' attorney, Scott Newar, says the claim that she threatened students with a baseball bat is false.

RELATED: Well-known HISD principal relieved of her duties
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One of Houston's most well-known principals has been relieved of her duties.



"As you well know, Dr. Simmons is 83 years old and approximately 5 feet tall. Therefore, it defies credulity and common sense that Dr. Simmons could objectively threaten anyone -- let alone high school students with a baseball bat," Newar said.

Simmons has served as principal at Furr High School since 2000. She's credited with dramatically turning the school around academically. The school was awarded a $10 million grant from XQ Project partly due to her initiative to reduce violence and enforce a strict uniform policy.

RELATED: Furr HS principal comes out of retirement to make a difference

Her attorney also added that Simmons felt that a relaxed uniform policy would cause an increase in gang activity and possible gang violence.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff

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