The Puyallup School District says it has placed a high school principal on paid leave while it investigates why he accompanied the school choir to San Francisco earlier this month and taught a zero-hour chemistry class when he was told not to.
An attorney for Scott Brittain, who’s been principal of Rogers High School since 2002, said whether he was told not to is in dispute.
Meanwhile, frustrated supporters of the principal plan a demonstration Friday afternoon.
“He’s always been willing to go the extra mile” for students, said Maria Parris, who’s had three daughters at Rogers, including a senior this year. “I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Brittain has been on paid leave since April 6.
District attorney Cliff Foster said he expects the investigation to conclude by the end of next week.
He said principals were told last fall not to go on out-of-state field trips because they’re needed in their buildings. And, he said, Brittain was authorized to hire a teacher for the chemistry class and was told administrators weren’t supposed to be teaching.
But Brittain’s attorney, Lawrence Carney, said that while principals were generally told not to go on out-of-state field trips, there were several exceptions.
And, “it would be difficult to hire someone to teach one period a day, especially chemistry,” he said.
He said Brittain didn’t want to comment.
Brittain started with the district as a junior high math and science teacher in 1982. Before he became principal of Rogers, which has 1,800 students in grades 10-12, he was principal of Ballou Junior High.
Supporters are organizing a demonstration from 2:30-5 p.m. Friday at the district office, 109 E. Pioneer. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 200 people indicated on a Facebook page dedicated to the event that they planned to attend.
Dawn Ragan, who has a son in 11th grade at Rogers, called Brittain an “outstanding leader.”
“We want Scott to know how much he’s done for us over the years, and how much we want him back,” she said. “He is an outstanding individual.”
Sara Schilling: 253-552-7058