SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Daisy Po’oi, whose child attends Christian Brothers High School, is organizing others to protest the sudden, unexplained firing of Principal Chris Orr.
Po'oi says that five days into her efforts demanding Orr's reinstatement, school President Lorcan Barnes left her a voicemail randomly assuring her that rumors those protesting would lose tuition assistance were not true.
“One of my concerns is that one of the things that people are drawing their own conclusions and in the absence of information and I'm concerned that people are afraid they're going to lose tuition assistance,” Barnes said.
Po’oi said she feels strongly that the sudden message and mention of money, when that hadn't been a concern among Orr's backers, was a veiled threat.
She felt so strongly about it that she attached Barnes' voicemail to a complaint letter she sent to the Christian Brothers Board of Trustees and the Lasallian District that oversees the Catholic school.
"It is targeted,” Po’oi said. “Why of all families would you call me? Because you know that I receive tuition assistance?"
Administrators called Po’oi’s assertion “preposterous.”
"Mr. Barnes’ calls to the family was absolutely not a threat in any way," school spokeswoman Kristen McCarthey said. "It was really more of a request to help dispell a rumor that we had been hearing that families of color were at risk of losing tuition assistance and that's just preposterous."
While the school says the campus president wasn't targeting any family, Principal Orr claims Barnes targeted him.
"The decision to abruptly terminate me is improper and it is truly troubling in light of the personnel reason and facts surrounding his resignation," Orr said on Oct. 28.
An emotional quest for answers continues now on many fronts by Orr and his supporters.
"I would have never thought I’d have to challenge something at such a prestigious institution,” Po’oi said. “And I love Christian Brothers."