Parents And Students Furious After Lesbian School Principal Fired

Running a school is a huge challenge for anyone, but what does sexual orientation have to do with it? As a teacher with over twenty-five years’ experience, I’ve worked under several principals, some good and some bad. But their sexuality was irrelevant to their job performance.

Apparently the Board of Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona disagrees. On March 15th, they decided to fire Paradise Valley High School Principal Cynthia Davis after a ‘concerned community member’ sent in a letter stating she suspected Davis was a lesbian and thus living a ‘questionable lifestyle.’ This in spite of the fact that the district has anti-gay discrimination written into their policies.

Earlier this month, Davis was told her contract would not be renewed because administrators had a problem with “her leadership ability and style,” according to the Arizona Republic. However, several parents expressed their praise for Davis, including Shelly Hickerson, the parent of a former student and a member of the group that decided to hire Davis. Hickerson wrote a letter to school administrators, claiming that a board member had expressed concern about Davis’s ‘lifestyle.’

Uproar At Board Meeting

Did the board anticipate the response? When they voted 5-0 not to renew Cynthia Davis’s contract, parents, students and fellow educators exploded in an angry uproar. As My Fox Phoenix reported, things eventually got so heated that a police helicopter arrived and local police had to escort board members to their cars.

Governing-board president Sue Skidmore told the Republic that Davis was let go because of a personnel issue, and would not comment on the full reason as to why her contract was not renewed.

Cynthia Davis Speaks Out


Davis said she learned of the allegation of the “lifestyle” comment on Friday.

“I have lived alone since 2005 but I have been in gay relationships prior to that. I have always separated my private and professional lives,” she said Friday night. “The only thing that led to my belief that this may be a factor is the information revealed by a community member today.

“I never wanted to believe that this could be the issue but I guess I was wrong. I don’t like this. People should be judged on who they are as a person, not their orientation. This has nothing to do with the job I have done as a principal.”

As an education reporter, I frequently receive reports like this one: “Teacher Admits Sexual Misconduct With Boy, 16.”

These are almost always incidents of heterosexual activity.

But when a beloved, hardworking school principal happens to be gay, she is deemed not fit to be around young people.

This is outrageous.


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Photo Credit: screenshot from


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Geneva F.: Please clarify your statement!

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Another thumbs down for Arizona...

Zoe B.
Zoe B.5 years ago

Discriminatory? Yes.

Illegal? Not just No, but HELL NO!

Arizona is one of 30 states where it's perfectly legal to fire someone who you think *might* be Gay.

There are NO Federal laws protecting them either. This comes as a great surprise to many, but the Federal bill that would have given them protection failed to even make it out of committee this year. As it's failed for the last 26 years.

Opponents have been very successful at portraying such protection as "special rights", because they know that most people think Gays must have the same protections as everyone else already.

They don't.

Oh and as for those born Intersex - with mixed anatomy, neither wholly Male or Female - they're not protected in 35 states, not just 30. 5 states give protections to Gays, but not them.

Katie K.
Katie K.5 years ago

I just wanna add that I came across this website today:

It is a website with a well-documented assertion that a teacher in Gilbert was harassed, manipulated, slandered, and ultimately fired for reporting bullying in GPS, all for what seems to be not falling in line w/ their lackadaisical attitude towards bullying, bigotry, and racism in her classroom. They also alluded to her sexual life in an e-mail calling her a "lesbian".

I honestly don't understand why teachers and administration aren't working together for children. It seems as if the rest of us are watching the politics play out, bewildered at what to do with our current system. Private or public, there are massive amounts of corruption, collusion, and discrimination within our schools that has to STOP. This is an embarrassment to the state of AZ.

I really recommend, if you have to the time, to read the link I found today, because it gives an extremely interesting glimpse into what that teacher was put through, something we only seem to see when it's reported to us by the news.

I have no idea what Sarah Green is doing now, but I am enraged at what she went through, as a teacher, just to stop bullying in her class. Spread the word! Help this principal, and help Sarah Green too!

Deborah D.
Deborah D5 years ago

I hope she gets effective representation and that the state has enacted anti-discrimination legislation that includes sexual orientation

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago

Outrageous. A sexual orientation has nothing to do with how you work.

Lisa D'Ambrosio
Lisa D'Ambrosio6 years ago

She should sue their asses for discrimination and unjustified termination. I hope she gets a boatload of money!

Robert Rufa
Robert Rufa6 years ago

Astounding that the school took such action because of a letter from a single bigot -- or "concerned community member," as it referred to the bigot. Schools are supposed to be institutions of enlightenment, but apparently the Paradise Valley Unified School District is still in the Dark Ages. If there's any justice, Principal Davis should receive a nice settlement, and the taxpayers in that district will be outraged by the waste of public funds.

Sue H.
Sue H6 years ago

If she's done her job well, it's no ones business what her life style might have been. Shame.
I hope that she has a lawsuit cooking and can move on.

Geneva Fowler
Geneva Fowler6 years ago

if a ex-porn teacher gets fired it's not right for a lesbian principal to keep her job.