CPS principal resigns amid residency questions

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago Public School principal claims he was forced to resign.

Manierre Elementary School Principal Derrick Orr says his residency is the issue. He sent out an email to staff members letting them know he resigned Thursday.

On Monday, Orr said CPS officials pulled him in to the inspector general's office to question him about breaking the residency requirement.

CPS students and staff have to live in the city. Orr says he does, but also owns a rehab property in the suburbs where he has been staying as work continues.

"If you spend more time at one place than another one, that's your residence," Orr said.

After 17 years of working for CPS, Orr said he turned this school around, making it a level two school when grades were so bad in the past, there was a threat of closing the doors.

Parents said Principal Orr not only was there for the students academically, but also used his personal money to take the 8th graders on trips to colleges, allowing many of them to step foot on campuses for the very first time and give them hopes that they would be there someday, too.

"He's the best thing that ever happened to Manierre, they shouldn't have done Mister Orr like that. He's the best thing that happened to them," parent Doretha Browley said.

Orr says he sent an email to staff Friday morning, but many parents and students don't yet know their principal is gone for good and moving on.

"He helped all of these little kids, you know, they honor him like he was real good. You know, some that don't have fathers he was a father to them he was a good guy," said grandparent Vanessa Batson.

Orr said he resigned because he wanted to avoid all the red tape that CPS was going to put him through. He said he hopes to move onto a district that will appreciate all of his hard work.
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