BLANCHESTER, Ohio -- Blanchester's superintendent cited "unprofessional behavior" as the reason why he placed the district's high school principal on administrative leave last week, sparking protest from students and parents in the community.
Students said they want to know more about why Blanchester High School Principal Rick Hosler was suspended last week, collecting more than 300 signatures via an online petition over the weekend.
So far the district has not said specifically why Hosler was placed on paid administrative leave, but letters in his personnel file detail what Superintendent Dean Lynch described repeatedly as "unprofessional" behavior, including insufficiently investigating a sexual harassment complaint among his staff, intimidating staff, disrupting a Clinton County Juvenile Probation Administrators meeting, and heckling a student judge during a spring track meet.
Most recently, Hosler reportedly had a “meltdown” on Nov. 11 and threw things during a meeting with an employee. Lynch wrote in a letter to Hosler:
You allegedly called the student service coordinator into a meeting and proceeded to have a 'meltdown,' threw things, screamed/yelled and made statements such as, 'No one is running my building or telling my teachers what to do. I'm the principal. Don't you dare talk to my teachers. Dean [Lynch] and Brigid [Carson, Director of Instruction] are trying to run my building. I'm the principal of this building.' This is in addition to other complaints of unprofessional behavior by staff and parents this school year and last.
The Nov. 11 incident prompted the current investigation and Hosler's subsequent administrative leave.
But supporters posted in an online petition about their positive interactions with Hosler throughout the years. His LinkedIn profile shows that Hosler has been principal since 2010.
An open letter to the superintendent and Board of Education reads in part:
"If any credible evidence of wrongdoing exists, it is incumbent upon the administration to justify their treatment of an outstanding principal and exceptional man."
The protest started at about 7 a.m. at the Blanchester Board of Education.