James Island Charter High School has a new principal, and its former leader has hired an attorney.
Rich Gordon, a former assistant principal, has been tapped to lead the school, and former Principal Bob Bohnstengel has retained legal counsel.
It’s unclear why the change in leadership was made, and the lack of information is creating a concerned buzz in the community. Keith Bolus, who chairs the school’s board of directors, refused to respond to two emails and at least three phone calls from The Post and Courier on Monday and Tuesday. Another board member deferred comment to Bolus.
“We need to know something because there are just too many rumors going around,” said parent Debbie Hahn, who has a junior and senior in the school. “It’s hush-hush, and this is not good for anybody.”
The only communication parents have received was a phone call Tuesday night announcing Gordon as the acting principal, but no explanation was given as to why.
Hahn said that communication should’ve happened sooner, and that it isn’t enough information. She doesn’t know what is happening.
“I really would like to know what’s going on,” she said.
Bohnstengel, who had been the school’s principal since 2005, didn’t report to work on Tuesday morning. He said he hadn’t heard from the school’s board of directors, but he was told that it decided on Monday evening to put him on a leave of absence.
He said he hadn’t done anything wrong, and he had hired an attorney. He declined to give further details about the situation or what might have triggered the board’s action.
Charter schools are public schools that operate independently from the school district in which they reside. Parents elect boards to govern the school, and those boards run the school’s budget and set school policy.
The school’s board of directors held an emergency meeting on Monday night, but an agenda for that meeting wasn’t posted on the school’s website. Bohnstengel, who is an ex-officio member of the board, did not attend that meeting.
Reach Diette Courrégé Casey at @Diette on Twitter or (843) 937-5546.