116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — A City High administrator who students and parents said opened a school door for a senior prank that turned into vandalism has resigned from that job and now will teach at Iowa City West High School.
“Scott Jespersen shared his intent to step away from his assistant principal position at City High School,” Principal John Bacon wrote in an email to parents Wednesday.
The Iowa City Community School District board of directors accepted Jespersen’s resignation Tuesday night, Bacon said.
City High parents told The Gazette last month Jespersen let some students into the building late May 22 to hang balloons and streamers, but other students came in and damaged the building by spray painting walls, pouring syrup on items and cutting up photos, among other actions.
The school district would not comment to The Gazette, saying it was a personnel matter.
Spokeswoman Kristin Pedersen would not answer questions about the vandalism, including the damage estimate, why the school did not file a police complaint, and if there will be repercussions for the students involved.
The Gazette tried to reach Jespersen May 26 at the school, but he wasn’t there, and sent him a message on Facebook that he did not respond to.
Damage to the school was discovered early May 23, according to a call for service to Iowa City police. The call at 3:59 a.m. said there were “several subjects” in the parking lot, “some laying down.”
When police arrived, they met with school employees who told them they had not approached the 20 or so people in the parking lot and that officials were “trying to assess the damage to the property.”
More than 630 people have signed an online petition supporting Jespersen, who parents and students said was placed on leave following the incident.
“On the night of Sunday, May 22, the City High senior class did their senior prank,” graduating senior Savannah Steele wrote on the petition. “This rapidly went downhill due to some students destroying school property, and trashing the school rather than doing the original prank.
“Mr. Jespersen is a person who has always showed kindness. His generosity was wrongfully taken advantage of this night resulting with consequences on himself. We want to show the ICCSD how much Mr. Jespersen means to City High School.”
A GoFundMe campaign organized by Tyson Friday, a City High parent, has raised $2,900 to go toward repairing damage at the school.
Bacon’s email says Jespersen will move to a teaching position at West High in the fall. Phil Hansen, who has been athletic director at City for three years, will become assistant principal. Gerry Coleman will shift from being dean of students to assistant principal, the email states.
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