Supporters of AISD principal accused of bullying, discrimination speak out

Those in support of an Austin ISD principal accused of bullying and discrimination are speaking out about the allegations.

Friends and former co-workers of Gabbie Soto held a small rally for her at Andrews Elementary School Tuesday.

“There's 2 sides to every story and before being judge and jury maybe think about things before saying that person is guilty,” said Teresa Martin who used to work with Soto at a different school in AISD. “These allegations going on about her are completely false it's basically a bunch of disgruntled parents that started to spread slander and lies and I just don't think that it's fair for."

Martin and others in support of Soto met in front of Andrews Elementary to show they stand by the principal.

“We are trying to right the wrong and say enough is enough,” said Martin. "We need to stand up to these bullies that are bullying her and defaming her name."

Soto is currently placed on leave and is not allowed to go to the school while AISD conducts an investigation.

“She's gotten death threats, she has to really be under the radar right now,” said Martin.

Those who have been outspoken against Soto say the meeting on Tuesday at the school is reopening a wound in a community trying to heal.

“All this is doing today is polarizing the situation even more then it's been polarized,” said civil rights lawyer Jim Harrington. "It's going to be not a healthy thing for that school, not a healthy thing for the kids that are there, and not a healthy thing for the teachers that are there."

While Harrington has been vocal against Soto, he also isn't happy with how AISD is handling the situation.

“First of all there was no letter of apology that went out, they just had this mild letter, they put out sort of obscure in a sense sort of candid no apology,” said Harrington. 

Both Harrington and Martin say they plan to go to the next school board meeting to express their concerns.

AISD stated the investigation is still ongoing and there is no word on when it will be over.