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Investigation deems allegations of improper conduct against ex-Manual principal credible

An outside investigation into ex-Manual principal Nick Dawkins found that witnesses claims of harassment, discrimination and retaliation were likely credible and consistent, a letter from DPS' general counsel said.
Nickolas Dawkins (Photo: Screengrab DPS site)

An investigation into ex-Manual High School principal Nick Dawkins found he likely violated Denver Public Schools policy when it came to discrimination, harassment and retaliation, according to a letter sent Wednesday to Manual staff.

The exact details of the complaints against Dawkins won't be released as the district says those are private between Dawkins and the victims of his actions.

That's according to a letter to Manual staff from Michelle Berge, senior counsel for Denver Public Schools.

The complainants and Dawkins all had the opportunity to speak with an outside investigator during the investigation, Berge said.

The investigator told counsel they believed the witnesses they interviewed to be credible and consistent in their complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

"DPS will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who raises concerns or participates in an investigation," Berge wrote in her letter.

Dawkins had been offered a new job with Denver School of Science and Technology - a charter school with a different hiring system from DPS - but that offer was on hold pending the results of the investigation at Manual.

DPS announced Dawkins' resignation from Manual in an email at the beginning of March, praising him for his leadership and ability.

He said a week later that he resigned his position as principal due to trauma, including an incident where he accused a visiting Weld County high school of displaying a Confederate flag without any evidence. He also said he decided to resign after a gun was found on campus, and due to violence in the neighborhood around the school, as well as the deaths of two students.

According to Dawkins, the district failed to provide adequate mental health resources to school leaders.

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