South Fork High School Teacher Still on Paid Leave After Board Meeting
Last night at its regular monthly meeting, the Southern Humboldt Unified School Board decided to take no action at this time in regards to a personnel matter. Though the District declines to name the employee referenced, supporters of South Fork High School teacher Paul Schmollinger believe that this is in regards to his situation.
Schmollinger was escorted off campus about 5 weeks ago by the administration during the school day. Since then he has been on paid leave, according to his wife Saundra Stephenson. [For more in a previous article, click here.]
School Board member Thomas Mulder explained that while he wasn’t commenting on the specific case, “no action” would mean that the employment status of anyone being discussed would not change. When asked about the performing arts teacher, he said, “Mr. Schmollinger is still an employee of the School District…He is not in the classroom.”
He went on to state that the School District cannot legally discuss personnel matters before the Board but the involved employee can discuss the issues. He said that anyone with any concerns about an employee should approach the employee for answers.
Mulder also stressed, “The School District has never discussed…cutting the performing arts program…We are committed to keeping the program a viable asset for the community and the students.”
He added, “I have been told we have a teacher in the classroom and teaching the students.
This afternoon the Southern Humboldt Unified School District released the following letter:
To the community of the Southern Humboldt Unified School District:
This is to respond to misinformation that is circulating in the community and causing anxiety about Southern Humboldt Unified School District’s arts programs. The performing arts program at Miranda Junior High and South Fork High School, including the music program, is a valuable part of our students’ lives. We have no intention or plans to cut this program. Rumors to the contrary are unfounded. The District has removed the current music teacher from the classroom for reasons we are legally prohibited from discussing. He remains an employee. Those in the community who know this individual may ask him for details which we are barred from discussing. No such bar prohibits him from discussing details that he chooses to share.
Southern Humboldt Unified School District