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Former Stowers Elementary Principal Blames Demotion On Speaking Out

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CERRITOS (CBS) — The ABC Unified School District was unable to reach an agreement on a settlement Tuesday in a case filed by former Stowers Elementary School Principal Eileen Blagden.

Blagden was demoted from her position two years ago after she reported a kindergarten teacher at Stowers allegedly told her he wanted to kill two other teachers and end his own life.

“It has been the worst nightmare,” Blagden told CBS2’s Stacey Butler. “They knew it was wrong and they covered it up.”

She reported the alleged threats to the ABC Unified School District and a district representative told her not tell anyone, especially the other teachers or the police.

“She said if you report this, you’ll be sorry,” Blagden said.

The former principal says she was concerned after she found out the teacher had been arrested more than once for lewd behavior and indecent exposure. She then told the teachers he allegedly threatened not to come to work and filed a police report.

Gary Smuts, former Unified School District Superintendent, told Blagden’s attorney in a sworn deposition her demotion was not to cover-up the allegations, it was because she refused to follow what she was told after the district representative decided not to take action until she found out if the threats were real.

“I believe she wanted to verify that Eileen got the statements correct before she brought trouble or problems or concerns to people,” he said.

Blagden’s case against the ABC Unified School District is scheduled to go to trial in the fall.

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