During the summer of 2020, Mr. Nakamura was hired to be principal of Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Stockton, California. The 2020 CAAASA (California Association of African American Superintendents & Administrators) Principal of the Year moved hundreds of miles from his home in Southern California just to have the opportunity to invest in the potential of Stagg students. After seeing a video of a large brawl outside of Stagg's campus, Mr. Nakamura decided to move up to Stockton and serve alongside the staff, students, families and community at Stagg to partner and transform the school climate.
Though he entered a new school during one of the most stressful times in educational history, Mr. Nakamura developed a tight bond with the Stagg family, including the staff, community members, and most importantly the students. Since the first day on the job, Mr. Nakamura has empowered his students to believe that they have a “value that people don’t understand” and are powerful enough to fight back against the forces of injustice that have plagued their community for far too long. This sentiment was also the focus of the May 27th graduation speech Mr. Nakamura gave to the graduating class of 2021 and their families. Unfortunately, this speech caused Principal Nakamura to be escorted off campus by a district police officer and a school district administrator. The administrator and police officer were advised to take his keys, escort him off of campus, and prevent him from attending the two remaining graduation ceremonies. This action further validated Mr. Nakamura’s statement that the district chose to “not listen to the community, nor the students, nor the families, nor the staff of Stagg High School.” Mr. Nakamura also stated that it was his genuine love for the students at Stagg and commitment to empowering and uplifting them that caused the district to want to remove him.
When news of Mr. Nakamura’s layoff sparked an outcry among the community, countless Stagg staff and parents took to the streets to protest the district’s decision. Mr. Nakamura re-applied for the position with the support of the community behind him. He re-interviewed and was selected as the top candidate from the interview panel. The district shut down the community’s desires by voting 4-3 to select a less experienced assistant principal to become the new principal at Stagg High School. The district’s vote came two days before Mr. Nakamura’s impassioned graduation speech that has since captured national and international attention.
At the moment, Mr.Nakamura has an opportunity to secure an attorney so he can shed light on the varying ways the school district has denied and suppressed the desires of the community and have used their elected position for politically corrupt purposes. All funds raised will go directly to the attorney being secured so Mr. Nakamura’s advocacy can continue.
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