High school and middle school students in Yellow Springs returned from spring break this week as questions lingered about two issues: a police investigation into alleged sexual misconduct involving students, and the future of the principal, who went on medical leave this month for an unspecified illness, and was told to clean out his office, hand over his keys and stay away from school grounds.
On Monday night, Yellow Springs Schools Superintendent Mario Basora said the principal, Tim Krier, is not under any investigation.
“There is no current or pending investigation of Dr. Krier related to him engaging in any form of sexual misconduct or any mistreatment of students or staff,” Basora wrote in a letter to the district’s families.
Basora wrote to students and parents that there is an ongoing student investigation, but said he could not share more due to privacy rules.
The note was sent to students and parents who “have been hearing and reading rumors” without “having the whole story from the schools.”
Krier, principal of Yellow Springs High School and McKinney Middle School since 2009, will continue to be on sick leave for at least a few more weeks and possibly until the end of the school year, Basora wrote.
Basora said he could not share any details of the alleged sex offenses without potentially identifying students involved. He said “to the best of our knowledge” all the alleged student misconduct happened off school grounds.
A student reported an incident or incidents occurred in a several-month period prior to being brought to the attention of a guidance counselor, according to a March 7 police report.
After first hearing the student’s allegations, the school counselor informed Jack Hatert, then the school’s vice principal who is now interim principal. They then decided to contact the parents of the juveniles involved and advised them to contact police, according to the report.
The sexual misconduct allegations remain under police investigation this week, said Yellow Springs Police Chief Brian Carlson. The findings will be presented to the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.
“We are in the early stages,” Carlson said. “I’m anticipating this will be somewhat of a lengthy investigation.”
As classes resumed Monday, the student drop-off procedure at the combined school and middle school was altered due to an anticipated presence of media. In a Sunday note to students and parents, Hatert encouraged parents to discuss with their children the potential of being approached by news crews.
“We want our students to understand their right to decline comment, or, if they choose to comment, to be prepared to communicate accurately their feelings and/or opinions,” Hatert wrote.
Basora said police added extra patrols around the building Monday to ensure teachers and students were able to go about their day as normal.
“We expect student learning to not be interrupted,” Basora said.
Krier went on medical leave about three weeks ago.
In a March 15 letter to Krier, Basora acknowledged receiving a doctor’s note from the principal, placing him on leave for at least six weeks. In the letter, Basora also directs Krier to “stay off school grounds and away from all school-sponsored events” until the superintendent determines whether “it is appropriate for you to return to work.”
Basora also advised Krier to return all work-related keys, key fobs and devices and told him he could arrange to pick up his personal effects from school the next day.
“During this period, please refrain from contacting any students (outside of your own family) regarding all matters related to education and your position with Yellow Springs schools, unless prior permission is obtained,” the letter read.
Krier’s salary was set at $104,424 as of August 2016 when his current three-year contract went into effect, according to district records.