Dennis Carpenter

Lee's Summit, Missouri, Superintendent Dennis Carpenter said Monday in a tweet that "When we normalize and fail to denounce racist @Twitter rants from the leader of the free world, we shouldn't be surprised that similar lines of thinking show up at the local level. #Sad."

LEE’S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) -- The Lee’s Summit superintendent has resigned from his position after months of conflict with the school board and teachers.

According to a release that was sent to KCTV5 News Tuesday evening, the Board of Education of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and Dr. Dennis Carpenter entered into an agreement under which Carpenter would resign as the district’s superintendent of schools.

Under the agreement, the district will pay Carpenter a total of $750,000, with a portion of that payment being funded by the district’s insurance carrier.

In the release, the board thanked Carpenter for his service and named Dr. Emily Miller as the acting superintendent and is set to begin August 14.

Miller has served as the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Special Services from 2012-2018 and as the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Operations since 2018. Prior to her district administrative roles, she served as a process coordinator and teacher in the Lee’s Summit School District for 10 years.

Just a few weeks ago on June 19 and after months of turmoil, the school board approved equity training championed by Carpenter.

That decision came on the heels of months of discord, including difficulty with the teachers union, which criticized Carpenter for focusing on “white privilege” as a factor in student performance.

The tension in the community became so heated over the debate that Carpenter had the sheriff’s office patrol his neighborhood.

The back and forth battle also included wrangling over his existing contract with the board.

Carpenter was with the district for two years, with this agreement ending his contract 11 months early.

The district says its responsibility is to move forward and its highest importance is its students. The board also noted in the statement that the last several months have been difficult.

“Lastly, we acknowledge that the last several months have been difficult with a range of emotions involved, but we know we are up for the challenge before us to push into the future together. Our responsibility to forge our path forward is an honor. And it’s one that holds the highest importance because it’s for all the students and families we serve.”

Carpenter posted a tweet with a letter from his attorney that said in part, "Dr. Carpenter is still firmly committed to promoting equity in education for all children and will continue to live this mission and fulfill this commitment." 

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