A principal came out as transgender. Parents say that’s not why they want her gone.

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Some parents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the principal of a Swampscott, Massachusetts elementary school — less than a month after the principal announced she’s transgender, according to reports.

But the organizers of the petition declaring “no confidence” in Principal Shannon Daniels’ ability to lead Stanley Elementary School tell the Boston Globe that they were unhappy with Daniels’ performance long before the principal disclosed her gender identity early last month.

School Committee chairwoman Amy O’Connor says she received the parents’ petition on Friday, the newspaper said, and plans to evaluate it with committee members.

The petition alleges Daniels created a toxic environment for students and staff, and failed to listen to parents and staff, the newspaper reported.

Daniels, 52, recently took a leave of absence after she reported receiving messages that she considered hurtful, said Superintendent Pamela Angelakis on Tuesday, NBC Boston reported.

The superintendent’s assistant told The Globe on Friday that she couldn’t say when Daniels would return.

Before the petition, some parents told NBC Boston that they support Daniels’ decision to come out, but disapprove of her job performance.

“We embrace diversity. We’re not going to embrace incompetence,” said Nicole Nichols, a parent at the school. She added that “we feel we are being misrepresented.”

Others say people are coming down too hard on Daniels, the news station reported.

“This is a personal thing,” said another parent, Melissa Camire. “I’ve come out before in my life and it was a very stressful personal time.”

Shannon Daniels had wrote in a letter to the school community that she’s transgender and will start identifying as female and using her middle name, Shannon, as her first name instead of Tom.

“I said, internally I’m a female and I want to be one,” Daniels told The Gloucester Times. “It gave me this incredible peace and happiness. It was just right.”

Daniels couldn’t be immediately reached by The Boston Globe.


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