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Woodland School Principal Mort Argoe questioned the thoroughness of an investigation into his alleged actions and attacked the quality of the legal representation that was offered to him during a contentious three-hour school board meeting Monday night at Avon School.
“I’ve been told the board wants my resignation by tomorrow,” Argoe said Monday night during the portion of the meeting set aside for public comments. But he angrily said it was unfair to put things off and called on the board to vote immediately on whether they wanted him back or not. If they didn’t want him back, he said, he would hand in his resignation.
The heated dialogue involving Argoe, the board and its legal counsel and dozens of borough residents attending the meeting revolved around an apparent bullying incident at Woodland School. Specific information about the incident was never discussed because the law forbids it, as Board President Andrew Wood repeatedly told the crowd.
Speaking around the specifics as much as possible, however, members of the audience sought to better understand how an investigation into a bullying incident would take place and whether this investigation was as extensive as it should have been.
When Argoe spoke, he made it clear he did not think the investigation was handled properly, saying nobody “has investigated one thing.”
“It stinks,” he said of the process. “I’m sick of it,” he later added to strong applause from the audience.
Several audience members speaking in support of Argoe called for the Wood, the board president, to resign his position because they said he is friends with the mother of the child involved in the bullying incident. They noted the appearance of a potential conflict of interest put the public’s belief in the board’s objectivity at risk.
Wood did not answer the calls for his resignation.
While the majority of speakers strongly supported Argoe, several also spoke in support of Wood or the board as a whole, asking the audience to understand the position the board was in with regard to its refusal to discuss specifics about the case.
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