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Union Day School board chair explains why principal was fired

In a letter to parents, Union Day School's board explained why former principal Matthew Hamilton was fired earlier this month.

WEDDINGTON, N.C. — Board members from Union Day School sent a letter to parents Friday addressing concerns following a week-long shutdown due to a staffing shortage and the former principal's firing.

Matthew Hamilton was fired as Union Day's principal earlier this month. Jim Lovell, chair of the school board, said the school was going through a "tumultuous time." In a letter sent to parents, Lovell said he and other school officials met Thursday to discuss Hamilton's termination and demands from staff members. 

"Our Head of School was terminated after progressive discipline because there was a long pattern of misconduct that included but was not limited to abusive behavior, insubordination and other inappropriate and discriminatory actions toward school staff," the letter reads. 

Lovell said earlier this week that Hamilton was fired for cause and was offered a severance package. Some parents and students protested his dismissal, saying Hamilton was unfairly removed. 

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"Anytime somebody speaks up against this board, they're fired," Andrea Krehbiel, a teacher and parent, told WCNC Charlotte. "[Hamilton] stands up for what is right. He pushed back, asked questions that now the staff is asking and we want answers to them."

In the letter to parents, Lovell said staff members presented a list of demands to the board that included the resignation of all four founding board members, a plan to remove the two remaining board members and to rewrite the charter bylaws. Lovell said when the board refused to meet those demands, staff members tried to bargain by firing a specific employee from the school. That employee was not named in the letter. 

"It is clear to us that no board member should ever be forced to resign due to personnel decisions with which staff disagree, nor should they trade away employees based on retribution or retaliation," Lovell wrote. 

Lovell said the school plans to fully open next week and there will be make-up days for time missed by students.  

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