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Principal Alves returns to Poulsbo Elementary on Feb. 18
POULSBO -- Poulsbo Elementary School Principal Claudia Alves will return to her job Feb. 18.
The school district notified parents via email Feb. 14 that Alves will be returning from leave and thanked interim principal Doug Wagner and others “for all of your efforts during Principal Alves’ absence.”
Alves was placed on administrative leave Jan. 21.
Alves used the N-word to explain to an 11-year-old fifth-grader how the word “Negro” was not the same; the student and others had said they weren’t comfortable using the word “Negro” in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day play.
Alves said she never used the word to upset the student.
“I did use that word, and that word is upsetting. I thought in the context of what we were talking about, it was all right,” Alves said in a previous interview with the Herald. She said she explained that what has been considered appropriate has changed over the years, but that word was never appropriate “no matter the period of time.”
Alves’ use of the N-word upset the student, who told his mother. The mother, Shawna Smith, called Alves, who in explaining what had happened, used the N-word again more than once.
Alves was advised by her superiors not use the word again, but when she called the Smiths to apologize, she used the word again. She was placed on administrative leave Jan. 21.
The boy’s mother said she didn’t want Alves to be fired, but said the district should offer cultural sensitivity training.
While on leave, Alves attended two “cultural responsive training” sessions with New Phase New Ways, a consulting business based in Central Kitsap. The business is run by Central Kitsap High School teachers and couple, JD Sweet and Elizabeth Blandin.
Sweet described the meetings with Alves as “professional discussion.”