Confusion ensues after Hazelwood superintendent goes on administ -

Confusion ensues after Hazelwood superintendent goes on administrative leave

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Parents and teachers continue to demand answers in Hazelwood after the superintendent was placed on administrative leave. Now there is concern over how much it may cost the district.

Dr. Grayling Tobias went on medical leave on April 13. This week that changed to paid administrative leave. Parents say they received no notice, while staff members received a three line email warning them not to speak with any media.

“The parents should know, they should have sent out a note,” said Margerite Freeman, whose child attends the early learning center.

Questions have been swirling all week and no answers came from Tuesday's board meeting where members held two closed sessions. Interim superintendent Dr. Ingrid Clark-Jackson has assumed the role in Dr. Tobias' absence.

“Now if he's sick, I understand being paid and bringing someone else in till he gets better, but if it's something else, that's not appropriate, then no,” said Freeman.

The district refused to speak to News 4 about the details of his absence, citing a personnel matter. But they did confirm they continue to pay Dr. Tobias' $230,308 salary. That is on top of paying Dr. Clark-Jackson's salary of $204,852.

“The board is doing by law what is right,” said Mark Behlmann, who served on the school board until last month.

Behlmann said he knows there's frustration from parents but the board has to follow the rules regarding what they can say about the reasoning behind Dr. Tobias' leave.

“I know him very well, I get so upset when I hear some of the crazy rumors that are running around, not only about him but other people, and they're just not true,” he said.

The superintendent did not return calls from News 4 as we attempted to get the story straight from him.

This is also not the first time the Hazelwood School District has had issue with a superintendent. Back in 2012, the board fired Steve Price. But they had to continue paying him even as they hired Dr. Tobias to replace him. Behlmann worries a similar cost could come with whatever happens next for Dr. Tobias.

“Could be equally expensive,” he said.

Calls to current board members went unanswered. The board is set to meet again June 16.

Dr. Tobias does remain on the Ferguson Commission but the spokesperson for the commission said he has not attended any meetings or events since taking his leave of absence from Hazelwood.

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