Nadia Lopez, who founded Mott Hall Bridges Academy in 2010, has been told she “shouldn’t come back” to the school, per the New York Post

The former principal, who received love from a student on Humans of New York, was met with hostility when she visited the Brooklyn school on April 13 and claims she was told that her “presence creates tension.” She is now being investigated by the Department of Education over “unauthorized” visits, as well as taking photos of students without permission, the Post reports. 

“I can’t even express how hurtful this is,” said Lopez, who resigned from her position in 2021 while dealing with an autoimmune kidney disease.

Lopez has shifted careers into being a motivational speaker and leadership coach, and also runs a podcast, but she rubbed shoulders with the school when she was filmed near school grounds for a documentary, alongside Laquana Lane, a graduate who beat cancer at age 16. District 23 Superintendent Miatheresa Pate and her deputy, Josephine Van-Ess then reportedly told the former principal she could not return back to the school

“I was shocked,” Laquana said. “I felt bad for Ms. Lopez, knowing she wasn’t allowed to come back to the school she built. It was pretty sad.” 

Issues reportedly arose when she visited in March to speak with acting principal Laura Onwuka, and sent an email to the school’s current staff. 

“It’s very clear that the current climate and culture does not represent the expectations I set for our scholars or the staff of our beloved school” she reportedly wrote. ”Those currently appointed to the role of [Mott Hall Bridges] leadership by the DOE, have no idea what it means to be a part of something that was created to defy mediocrity and the status quo.”

The school issued a complaint against Lopez, per the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools, despite her bringing attention to the school via a visit with President Obama alongside Vidal Chastanet, the student who was featured in Humans of New York.