Bizarre E-Mails Sideline Principal

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 2:20pm

Elementary school principal suspended over staff game with "racial overtones".

A Louisville, Kentucky principal is on paid administrative leave after accusations surfaced that she sent bizarre e-mails to teachers.

Some of the apparent messages included images of a scantily clad doll placed in locations throughout Dixie Elementary.

The Jefferson County Teachers Association is taking this issue a step further and meeting with JCPS Labor Relations this week.

JCTA Executive Director DeeAnne Flaherty said the association received a complaint against Stephanie Allen earlier this summer - accusing Allen of sending strange e-mails.

The messages encouraged staff members to partake in a scavenger hunt game.

The messages indicated staff members should search for a barely covered African-American doll.

The e-mail header and signature listed Dixie Elementary Principal Stephanie Allen.

"Just the initiation of it was very troubling," Flaherty said.

The messages, dated December 2011, ask staff members to search for a "Lil Whitney."

A staff member, who wanted to remain anonymous, claimed the e-mails had racial undertones and were offensive.

Sources said the doll mocks a former Dixie Elementary staff member.

"It was circulated so all of the teachers in the building would've been aware that information was out there," Flaherty said.

Images show a doll stripped of clothing, with only stickers covering parts of the body.

Sometimes the doll is hidden in what appears to be a tree, other times it's in a vending machine.

"Actually a teacher, close to the summertime, came into discuss another issue and brought in a very similar packet. We talked about it at that point, and she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with it or where she wanted to go with it," Flaherty said.

Recently, another anonymous tipster notified JCTA of the bizarre e-mails.

Late Wednesday, JCPS confirmed Stephanie Allen is not currently principal of Dixie Elementary.

Communications Specialist Ben Jackey wrote:

"Stephanie Allen was placed on paid administrative leave on September 24. District personnel are responding to complaints regarding the professional behavior of the principal as it relates to her employees."

JCPS confirmed there is an ongoing internal investigation over the e-mails Stephanie Allen allegedly sent.

Allen could not be reached for comment.

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