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Students, parents rally in support of Austin High principal still on leave
By: Gina Benitez
EL PASO, Texas
Dozens of students and parents made their way to Austin High School Saturday morning in support of the school's principal, Dr. John Tanner.
As KFOX 14 has reported, Tanner was placed on administrative leave earlier this month for the second time this year.
His hands-on approach, his availability at all times and the way students say he genuinely cared for them
That's why everyone says they need Dr. John Tanner back.
"So why are these people, bullying you all, our students, through attacking, our principal? Because that's what they're doing," said Dolores Salomon, who attended the rally.
Today, parents and students alike joined together to rally for the man they say turned Austin High School around.
"We were almost non-existent, it almost seemed that they wanted to shut us down. That's where we were headed. And when nobody else was willing to take the challenge, this man took it," Salomon said.
As we've reported, Tanner was placed on administrative leave earlier this month for the second time in just five months.
The district continues to stay tight-lipped, only saying they are two separate, unrelated matters.
An audit of EPISD months back allegedly implicated Tanner and seven other administrators in the district's cheating scheme.
The eight faced termination but after much community support, Tanner was reinstated days after he was asked to resign.
But this time, the community has been kept in the dark.
"It's frustrating to see that happen because I feel like that's what the district is doing, they're trying to go after him over and over again. If they weren't, why wouldn't they be more open about what's going on?" said Ryan Alan, a senior at Austin High School.
Students hope their efforts aren't going unnoticed.
"Transparency isn't a word I guess they're familiar with. We're all here to find out, we're here to support and show the district that we care about him and we want to know why he's being investigated," Alan said.
"Our school is so much better, and happier, with him and when he's not here, there's just like a cloud above our school and it doesn't feel right without him," said Frances Roman, another Austin High senior.