School principal quits after alcohol incident

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HOUSTON - The principal of a public charter school in Houston has quit after some staff and underage former students drank alcohol on campus.

Officials with KIPP Sunnyside High School said Monday that Shannon Wheatley was not present during the July drinking but knew of it and never reported the incident. Wheatley also helped found the school, which bans alcohol on campus.

School spokeswoman Chris Gonzalez says four clerical staffers who took part in the drinking are no longer employed by KIPP Sunnyside. Officials say two college-age ex-students who were interns and volunteering also consumed alcohol. No current students were present.

Wheatley, who resigned Aug. 9, did not immediately comment.

A letter sent to parents said John Allen, who worked in the school's math department, has been named acting principal.

"We are writing today to inform you about a change at our school.  Our principal and founder, Mr. Wheatley, will no longer lead KIPP Sunnyside High School.  Mr. Wheatley will continue to be devoted to the children and families of KSHS and will remain a strong supporter of the school.  He thoroughly believes in each of our children and knows that they will be successful in college and in life," the letter stated. "We believe that the best decision we could make regarding a replacement for Mr. Wheatley is to bring in a person who has not only been an educator for over 20 years in the Houston community, but who is also already a member of KIPP Houston's team and family.  As such, we are pleased to announce that Mr. John Allen will serve as School Leader at KSHS this year."

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