Transgender Swampscott Principal to Return After Temporary Leave of Absence

A transgender Massachusetts elementary school principal will return days after being put on a temporary leave of absence.

The leave came weeks after Stanley Elementary Principal Shannon Daniels revealed herself as transgender.

Daniels, 52, is expected to meet with Superintendent Pamela R. H. Angelakis sometime on Wednesday.

In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, Angelakis said that the principal has been getting messages she considers to be hurtful. Daniels made her official announcement in a letter to parents back on Feb. 6.

"I had several conversations with Principal Daniels last week in which she reported receiving messages that she considers hurtful relative to her recent announcement and the media attention it received. We mutually agreed that Principal Daniels would take at least a few days off when school reopened and we would meet this week," read a part of the letter from Angelakis.

Some parents say their feelings about Daniels have been misconstrued and that the real issue is lack of communication.

"We hear nothing," said Nicole Nichols, a parent at the school. "Parents have rumors everywhere because we can't get a straight answer really from anybody about what's going on at that school."

Nichols added that Swampscott is a tolerant community but some parents don't feel Daniels is a right fit for the principal position.

"We embrace diversity. We're not going to embrace incompetence," said Nichols. "We feel that this principal has been incompetent for years, he has multiple grievances filed against him, teachers have left the school because of him, he's had multiple issues with teachers over the fall-spring he's said in multiple interviews. We feel we are being misrepresented."

Still, other parents say they realize this is a stressful time for Daniels.

"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."

Police cars have been stationed outside of the school since Monday. Angelakis said they are there to reduce any anxiety parents may be feeling.

It's unclear exactly what time the meeting between Daniels and Angelakis will take place.

"I am mindful of the fact the last few weeks have been challenging, and I want to assure you that providing a safe, supportive learning environment for all students and staff is the highest priority," Angelakis said. 

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