Questions swirl about status of North Jackson High School principal

Northeast Alabama
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STEVENSON, Ala. - A number of people have contacted WHNT News 19 in the past two days to ask us to investigate what is happening with the leadership of North Jackson High School.

Sam Houston is Principal of North Jackson High School. (Photo:
Sam Houston is Principal of North Jackson High School. (Photo:

The principal, Sam Houston, has reportedly not been at school for the past few days.  WHNT News 19 called the school yesterday and today to learn he wasn't in.

"He's out of the office," a school employee said.  "We don't know when he'll be back." The assistant principal directed us to call Superintendent Kevin Dukes.

WHNT News 19 reached Houston at his home in Bridgeport today to ask him about his status.  Houston also referred us to the superintendent's office.

WHNT News 19 has heard Houston is on leave, so we asked him.

"Is there any information you can give me on why you're on leave?" WHNT's Olivia Steen asked him. He would only say we'd have to ask the superintendent.

Earlier this morning, WHNT News 19 visited the Jackson County Board of Education in Scottsboro.  We asked to see Superintendent Dukes, but several staff members said he was not available.

We reached Dukes by phone late today. He said he had no comment on the matter.

WHNT News 19 has also reached out to the school board attorney and the Alabama State Department of Education about the matter. The state is checking to see if Houston has been placed on leave, but says the school system has 10 days to report this.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said it is not aware of any report of a criminal nature from North Jackson High School.

WHNT News 19 will continue to take action to get answers for you.

North Jackson was one of four schools in north Alabama listed as "failing" in the state's failing schools list released last month.

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