Embattled elementary school principal fired from post

SAN DIEGO - A local elementary school principal put under the microscope after a series of Team 10 reports has been removed from her job and for the first time, Glenda Gerde is speaking out.

A representative for the San Diego Unified School District confirms Gerde has been removed as principal at Loma Portal Elementary, a post she has held since 2007. She remains employed with the district, but it is unclear what position she will hold.

"It's a sense of relief children are going to be protected," said child protection advocate Sally Smith.

Smith says she has fielded more than a dozen complaints about Gerde, including three that were filed with the district.

"She has a quick temper," said Smith. "She screams and she shouts at teachers and parents. She likes to threaten parents by saying she'll call school police."

In mid-June, a family came to Team 10 about a policy granting only two bathroom passes a year. The family said some had become sick from trying not to go to the bathroom.

In October, Team 10 aired a video posted online that appeared to show Gerde hitting a 21-year-old skateboarder in the back during an argument about skateboarding on school grounds.        

The school district gave no reason for her firing, but Team 10 since has received calls and emails in support of Gerde.

In a statement, she told Team 10, "It's disappointing that a group of people with an agenda can bully a great administrator out of job."

Regarding the skateboarding video, she says the editing was misleading, "as there were six skateboarders spitting and cursing at me. For the first time in my career, I lost it. I felt threatened and I brushed his shoulder."

As for the bathroom policy, she said it was one teacher's policy which she took action on the day she learned about it in early June.

"My priority has always been keeping children safe," said Gerde.

When Team 10 asked her about her reported quick temper, she said she stands by her 37 years of service to children, sterling evaluations and Loma Portal's high test scores and recognition as a California Distinguished School.

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