David French, president of the Madison Board of Education, told the audience during a public meeting Thursday evening he was “saddened and troubled” by social media postings regarding Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff’s recently going on medical leave. (Photo By Michael D. Clark/Journal-News)

Madison board president blasts social media ‘gossip’ about superintendent

David French, president of the Madison Board of Education, spoke publicly for the first time about the medical leave of Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff during the board’s meeting Thursday evening.

MORE: Madison Schools leader takes medical leave

“We have to deal with facts. Facts are records and files. We don’t make decisions based on hearsay and gossip. If you have things you want us to investigate, give us facts. Period,” he said.

He added, “that’s me speaking as a personal board member, not as a group.”

French did not specify what was written on social media to draw his ire.

In responding for the first time since the Journal-News exclusively reported on Tuttle-Huff’s medical leave, French said no decision has been made to hire an interim superintendent during her absence.

He described the board as being in a “holding pattern” regarding whether to hire a temporary district leader “depending on the length of the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)” Tuttle-Huff will experience.

French said he has only had general, preliminary communications with the Butler County Educational Services Center (BCESC) officials regarding just the possibility of having to request the agency’s assistance should the board decide to move on hiring an interim superintendent.

Tuttle-Huff has said she is ill and staying at home.

She said earlier this week “the board is asking the ESC (educational services center) for help if needed.”

Tuttle-Huff, who in August 2019 signed a five-year contract, has told the Journal-News: “I am on FMLA. I am not sure at this point what date I will return.”

The board, which twice went into private, executive sessions during the three-hour-plus public meeting, took no action regarding Tuttle-Huff, nor did any other board members speak about her.

Tuttle-Huff’s superintendent contract runs from Aug. 1, 2019 to July 31, 2024.

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