Madison East High School principal reassigned after student protests

MADISON, Wis. — Madison East High School principal Sean Leavy is being reassigned to a different role in the Madison Metropolitan School District after numerous student protests over how the school handled an alleged sexual assault.

In a statement Wednesday morning, MMSD Communications and Public Affairs Executive Director Tim LeMonds said Leavy accepted a position as Director of Secondary Multi-Tiered Support and Scheduling for the district.

“This change reflects MMSD’s commitment to ensure our school district has a leadership team who are in roles that best optimize their experience and skills to move MMSD forward toward reaching our Strategic Framework goals,” LeMonds said in a statement.

The change is effective today.

Madison East High School Assistant Principal Mikki Smith will serve as Interim Principal for the rest of the 2021-2022 school year. Smith has been the Assistant Principal at East High for the past 11 years.

East High students held multiple days of walkouts, demanding the school reform its policies around sexual assault after a young woman was allegedly raped by a student during a party on Homecoming Saturday.

RELATED: ‘We don’t feel safe’: East students demand staff receive training on sexual violence response

Students felt Leavy did not take their concerns seriously when they were brought up.

“In the meeting he said ‘I know that you feel there has been a sexual assault’ and we were like ‘we know, we know there has been one’ and he was belittling out voices and belittling the stuff we were telling him and we just won’t stand for that anymore,” East High senior Feliz Castañeda said earlier this month.

RELATED: State Officials share insight into MMSD’s limitations when addressing rape allegations

Student leaders also said the school had failed to appropriately address sexual assault in the past.

State officials have said MMSD’s hands are tied by law on discussing specific cases of alleged assault but can communicate with students about its general policy.

Leavy became the principal at East High School this year after previously working in Beloit.