MIMS students, parents rally for principal they say is being forced out

HOUSTON – Among the crowd chanting "MIMS strong" Thursday night at a protest was fifth-grader Jerry Fan.

MIMS, or Mandarin Immersion Magnet School, is Jerry's school, which, of late, hasn't felt the same.

"Without him the school would have collapsed years ago. I mean this is a really hard program," Jerry said.

That's why Jerry, his mom, and others said they just don't understand why the school's principal is leaving.

Chaolin Chang has been the school's principal for the past six years.

Chang is leaving MIMS at the end of the school year. Parents said they weren't told about the decision, despite the Houston Independent School District knowing at least since February. Parents said that's when Chang got word.

MIMS is a top performer. About 700 students are enrolled at the school.

Learning Mandarin Chinese is far from an easy feat, and that's why parents say Chang matters.

"They're learning Chinese. They’re speaking Chinese, listening to Chinese, and also singing Chinese songs. How does this happen? It doesn't happen in one day," parent Iris Zhang said.

Parents and students donned red T-shirts and spent Thursday night at HISD headquarters. They want the board to know how much of a difference they think Chang makes.

"Everyone loves him; so, we just feel like why we would bring down a superstar, a super performer like Mr. Chang," parent Jeremy Liu said.