Superintendent: Ralph Plagman's ouster came after 'careful deliberation'

He says action was result of 'new concerns' found during investigation

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CEDAR RAPIDS — At the first Cedar Rapids school board meeting since popular Washington High School Principal Ralph Plagman was ousted, Superintendent Brad Buck said in a statement Monday that he understood the many contributions of the principal, but that it was mutually agreed he not return in the wake of a teacher-student affair.

“Please understand that our actions were the result of careful deliberation based upon sufficient evidence compiled at that time of the decision,” Buck wrote in the statement.

“Because it is a confidential student and personnel matter, I am not able to respond to the various public comments made about the decision other than to say that there were significant new concerns that came to be known through the investigation. Those concerns and others were quickly validated at the outset of the investigation which the District addressed to Dr. Plagman,” the statement said.

Washington parents upset at Plagman’s departure had been organizing a protest and speakers at Monday evening’s board meeting.

A Washington High substitute teacher, 24-year-old Mary Beth Haglin, was arrested July 22 on a charge of sexually exploiting a 17-year-old student at the school.

Plagman’s office in February investigated rumors of an inappropriate relationship involving the two, but determined they were unfounded. Later, following a post on social media, the school investigated again.

Haglin was removed from the school’s substitute list, but Buck has said previously that no one in the district reported the suspicions to police.

Get caught up on the Washington High scandal that has unfolded over the past few weeks: Teacher-student sex scandal: The story so far.


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