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Ridgeview High School students upset over teacher cuts and create anti-principal petition

5:16 PM, May 6, 2013   |    comments
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ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Clay County High School students are speaking up about what they believe are unfair changes at their school.  

"I had asked Ms. Segreto, I wrote her a letter, but I didn't get any reply back besides 'thank you' for your letter," said Taylor Dodd, a student at Ridgeview High School.

Dodd, a sophomore, learned last week that several of her favorite teachers and coaches will not be returning next year.

"All of the people getting cut are like big influences on the school and they're like the younger teachers who understand us," said Dodd.

The Clay County School District says the four positions cut at Ridgeview High School are part of allocation cuts that happen in school districts across the state, they are based on student enrollment projections for the upcoming year. 

The Principal of Ridgeview High School, Deborah Segreto, was told she had to make four cuts.

Segreto also chose not to renew the supplements for the current head coach and JV coach of the cheerleading squads.

"She basically told me she was going in a different direction for this year for cheerleading and wouldn't offer any more information and then I sat there and told her what I had done for the program in the last seven years and she just kept shaking her head," said Amanda Upton, current head coach of the varsity cheerleading team.

Upton's contract was renewed as an assistant in the ESE program, but not for cheerleading. 

When the news broke cheerleaders began changing their Facebook profile pictures to voice their opposition.

"A lot of them changed their facebook pictures to my picture and wrote all kinds of things on my Facebook page and that really means a lot to me because I know I'm hurting but now I know they're hurting too," said Upton.

Now the outrage with the decisions has translated into a petition started by a student with the goal of removing or transferring Principal Segreto out of the school. 

Segreto became principal at Ridgeview High in November of last year. 

In 2009, Ms. Segreto was Clay County's "Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year" nominee to the State Department of Education. She has been with the school district since 1996.

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