DURANT - In a special board meeting Monday night, the Durant Community School Board reinstated Co-Principal Monica Rouse as the "sole principal" of Durant High School.
On Friday, Cedar County District Judge Mark Smith wrote that if the board did not reinstate Rouse as full principal, each of the school board members would serve 30 days in jail. The board avoided that Monday by reinstating her as "sole principal."
Three years ago, Rouse was let go as principal for allegedly allowing students to graduate who did not have enough credits. On March 11, 2011, the Cedar County District Court "found no evidence" related to that. Therefore, she was reinstated as Durant High School Principal.
The story though, takes a weird twist from there. Rouse returned to her job on April 23rd of 2012. Smith's ruling says that Rouse "was sent to a makeshift office in the board room on the opposite side of the school building." Friday's report says that Rouse was also "told not to interact with students." She has served as the school's Co-Principal with Tony Neumann ever since.
"You can be assured that Monica Rouse will be the sole principal of the high school," school district attorney Rand Wonio said after the meeting Monday.
The school boarddecided to fully reinstate her in a closed-door meeting Monday. Durant residents say they are tired of the situation because they have heard about for the past three years.
"I think people are just completely gob smacked at what's happened in total," resident Kristy Hansen said.
Hansen is one of many people in town who supported Rouse after she was let go. She's also frustrated that the board has not talked to the public or the media about this recent news.
The school board refused to talk again Monday night, letting Wonio answer a few questions before leaving himself. The district will be paying $12,000 in attorney fees to Rouse's attorney Cathy Cartee. She claims that Rouse will be moving from her makeshift office in the elementary school to the high school office on Tuesday.
Neumann will stay on staff and become Co-principal of Durant's K-8 school. That way, he is not penalized for the court reinstating Rouse. To see a full version Smith's report, click here.