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**Ann Arbor School Principal Returns After Brief Suspension for Locking Student in Office**

Ann Arbor, Michigan Principal Returns to School After Investigation

The veteran principal of Abbot Elementary School in Ann Arbor, Pamela Sica, has resumed her duties after a brief suspension. This action followed an inquiry into an incident where a child, who had fallen asleep in a locked school office, was left unattended.

Principal Sica returned to her role on March 4 after a one-day suspension related to the incident on February 12, where a 10-year-old student was inadvertently left alone. The details were revealed in documents acquired by MLive/The Ann Arbor News through a Freedom of Information Act Request.

The investigation stemmed from a due process meeting on February 13, during which Sica took responsibility for the student being unattended and suggested immediate safety measures to prevent such occurrences in the future. The incident led to her placement on leave on February 14.

Sequence of Events

According to the incident report, the student visited the office complaining of a stomach ache around 3:10 p.m. on February 12. Following this, a series of events unfolded, with Sica being occupied with various responsibilities until the end of the day.

Despite her efforts to address multiple issues, including assisting a bus driver and resolving a transportation concern for other students, Sica inadvertently left the student unattended in the office clinic. This situation arose due to staffing shortages, with a substitute teacher overseeing the office at the time.

Realizing the oversight upon receiving concerned phone calls after she had left for the day, Sica promptly returned to the school. With the custodian lacking a key to the office clinic, she had to instruct a teacher to awaken the child, who was then reunited with their parent.

Support and Resolution

Following the incident, parents and teachers rallied behind Sica, emphasizing the challenging circumstances she faced due to staffing shortages. While acknowledging the error, supporters highlighted the principal’s dedication and the systemic staffing issues at the school.

In response to the incident, Sica swiftly implemented check-in/check-out procedures for the office clinic and enhanced end-of-day dismissal protocols. The district reinstated her after the one-day suspension, with an expectation to maintain the new protocols to prevent future mishaps.

Sica, who has led Abbot Elementary for 14 years, expressed her ongoing efforts to advocate for additional resources to support the school community. The district has reiterated the importance of adherence to safety protocols, warning of disciplinary action, including termination, for non-compliance.

Principal Sica’s return to Abbot Elementary signifies a resolution to the incident, with a focus on improving safety measures and addressing staffing challenges to ensure the well-being of students and smooth school operations.