NORWALK : Principal Transferred After Drinking on Trip

A popular high school principal in Norwalk has been transferred after he and some school staff members drank alcohol during a faculty field trip to Chinatown and Olvera Street in Los Angeles, school officials said.

Alcohol consumption is not specifically prohibited, but is strongly discouraged, district officials said.

Bernard Samuels, principal of John H. Glenn High School, was reassigned last week to the district's central office, officials said. He will work on curriculum development.

Samuels organized the trip to promote cultural understanding and allow teachers and non-teaching employees to learn about Asian and Mexican history, said Darryl R. Adams, president of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District board. The trip was taken March 10, during a day that students were out of school.

Adams said some of the staff members and the principal consumed alcohol during lunch, but no one was disorderly. School officials said they began an investigation after receiving complaints from some teachers and parents.

No staff members were reprimanded, but Adams said the school board will consider revising employee guidelines specifically to prohibit the consumption of alcohol by staff during school-sponsored trips.

Samuels was not available for comment. But students, parents and teachers praised him and criticized the decision at a school board meeting Monday night. They demanded that Samuels stay at the school until the end of the year.

Supt. Ginger Shattuck said Samuels' transfer is not a demotion, and that his salary will remain the same. She said his supervisors had been considering a transfer for him before the field trip.

Elaine Medina, a principal at Waite Middle School, will serve as acting principal at the high school until June.

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