Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playing Plum the School Superintendent's Rich Buyout Is Wrong

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playing Plum the School Superintendent's Rich Buyout Is Wrong

Article excerpt

Surprise, surprise. Plum Borough School District superintendent Timothy Glasspool found he was unable to lead the district following a scandal that resulted in jail sentences for three teachers who sexually assaulted female high school students. Instead of firing him last year like it should have done, the school board now has agreed to pay a significant sum - perhaps something in the neighborhood of $200,000 - so Mr. Glasspool will go away.

The payout and a $300,000 settlement with one of the victims, both approved Tuesday, show that the district has yet to move past the scandal. Mr. Glasspool's departure should speed the healing process along, although it's unfortunate that the board felt compelled to reward an unsatisfactory employee with a generous severance package. It was unfortunate, too, that one of Mr. Glasspool's last acts as superintendent was to threaten legal action if the district didn't capitulate to his buyout demands. It was just one more way in which he let the district down.

In May 2016, an Allegheny County grand jury report criticized Mr. Glasspool and then-principal Ryan Kociela for their less-than-zealous handling of rumors about teacher improprieties. Overall, the report described a broken culture "thatencouraged the protection of friends and colleagues over students" at the high school. It did not recommend criminal charges against Mr. Glasspool and Mr. Kociela, but the board put them on paid leave. It should have fired them.

Mr. Kociela ended up with a cushy deal, resigning over the summer with a buyout of about $220,000 from the district. Mr. Glasspool's course was more tortured. Last September, a divided board foolishly reinstated him after an investigation it commissioned concluded there was no legal justification for showing him the door.

Days later, Mr. Glasspool issued a statement saying he was humbled by the experience and looked forward to getting back to business. …

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