Education News

Furr Students, Alumni Ask for Their Principal Back

“I know for a fact that she would never hit any student with a baseball bat, or with anything else for that matter,” said a graduate of Furr High School

Building Houston's Super School
Some students say they want their principal, Bertie Simmons, back on campus.

Students and alumni from Furr High School have started a social media campaign to bring back their principal, Bertie Simmons, defending her against allegations over uniforms and a verbal threat.

“She has always, always been there for every student,” said Karen Banda, a graduate of Furr. “Any student that walks into her office, she will be there for them.”

Banda is a senior at Smith College in Massachusetts. But she says she wouldn't be there at all if it weren't for Simmons. So when she heard her former principal was temporarily relieved of her duties, Banda was speechless.

Then Banda joined a social media campaign with the hashtag #BringBackDrSimmons. She and several other students told News 88.7 that they don't believe the allegations against her.

“I know for a fact that she would never hit any student with a baseball bat, or with anything else for that matter. She would joke around saying, ‘Don’t make me take my earrings off,’ but everyone always knew that that was a joke,” Banda said.

The Houston Independent School District is taking that kind of joke seriously. It also is examining how strongly Simmons enforced uniforms after HISD said the dress code would be relaxed after Harvey.

Simmons has led Furr since 2000. She reduced gang violence, improved the graduation rate and helped the school win a $10 million grant.

— Jordan Davis (@JordanDavisACS) October 5, 2017

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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