Allegations of Inappropriate Discipline Tactics Prompt KIPP Principal to Step Down
By Ariana Duarte and Caryn Kochergen,, February 20, 2009

Students and parents lined the streets outside the KIPP Academy in Fresno,

outraged over the recent and sudden resignation of their principal Mr. Chi Tsichang.

"He founded KIPP, he supported KIPP, and he made everything happen, and that's why I think he should be our principal still," said KIPP student, Naoko Jackson.

According to parents, Tschang sent home a letter on Wednesday, stating that the school board had asked him to resign.

Tschang himself would not comment on the details surrounding his resignation, except to say he plans to "step away gracefully."

"There are just some differences that we've had with the school district," said Tschang.

But at a news conference Friday, the Fresno Unified School District offered a little more insight.

Coordinator of Charter Schools, Debra Odom said a lengthy report prepared by the district alleges Tschang was using inappropriate forms of discipline including:

slamming students against the wall, placing trash cans over their heads, forcing kids to crawl on their hands and knees while barking, and enforcing unreasonably strict bathroom rules, resulting in students having accidents and vomiting on themselves inside the classroom.

"The information that is received in the report was all brought to our office by parents and by students," said Odom.

And despite the outpouring of support for Tschang by many students, Odom says more than 50 individuals came forward ... during Tschang's tenure at the school, with serious allegations against the popular principal.

Odom says those allegations must be addressed appropriately to make sure that students at KIPP are working in a safe and healthy environment.

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