After initially agreeing to an unusual mediation process, Los Angeles school officials reversed course Friday, suddenly removing an embattled principal from one of the city's most troubled schools.
Vince Carbino, the target this month of two demonstrations at the Santee Education Complex, will be temporarily reassigned to an administrative job that is not at a school, said Carmen Schroeder, the local superintendent for the region that includes Santee.
In recent months, Carbino had come under increasing pressure from disgruntled teachers, parents and students who chanted in front of the campus gates calling for Carbino's firing. His critics called him abrasive and alienating, and accused him of improperly altering academic courses. Teachers allege that he changed course titles and subject matter after the semester started to make it appear that the school was in better compliance with rules requiring that students get immediate access to textbooks.
Officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District have opened an investigation into those claims.
Carbino's defenders credit him with improving security for students on and near campus. The cop-turned-educator has also been lauded by some as a tough but effective administrator who tried to bring calm to a school that had a tumultuous beginning.
On Wednesday, faced with mounting political pressure from Carbino supporters, including City Councilwoman Jan Perry, district officials said they would allow the city's Human Relations Commission to mediate the conflict.
By Friday afternoon, however, officials had decided that Carbino would be reassigned.
Schroeder said the hurried decision was made after the completion of the investigation. She declined to elaborate on specifics of that inquiry. She said, however, that Carbino's reassignment was temporary.
Schroeder said district officials would meet with Santee teachers next week to discuss whether to proceed with the commission's mediation process.
Based on the outcome of that meeting, she said, Carbino's removal could be made permanent.
Carbino could not be reached for comment.