Sand Ridge rehires administrator who resigned in 2004

From the Lebanon Express:

Sand Ridge Charter Schools have a new principal, but he is no stranger to the two campuses.

John Leon was administrator at the school before, resigning in 2004.

He was hired Sept. 15, said director of operations Mary Northern.

Leon declined an interview with the Lebanon Express.

Interesting that he declined a interview.  I think that’s a bad idea given the better part of the last decade’s history between Sand Ridge and the LCSD.  Also a bad idea given the reason he resigned:

According a 2004 article in the Lebanon Express, Leon resigned amid accusations from parents that he “engaged in inappropriate religious activity with students: preaching, reading Bible verses and crying during religious talks.”

He denied the allegations, but said resigning was in the best interest of the school and himself.

In 2005, the Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Vickie Fleming, on behalf of Superintendent Susan Castillo, concluded that religious activities ceased when Leon resigned his position on July 23, 2004.

Not definitive, but pretty close.  And now he’s back – in a publicly-funded school.

Not only do I think it would be in Leon’s best interests to grant an interview to the paper, so does the Express.  And on top of that, I think the LCSD School Board might want to start paying closer attention to Sand Ridge again.  Unfortunately, despite the advances made elsewhere in the district in terms of relationships and a renewed focus on students, the decision to re-hire someone who resigned because there was evidence they blatantly undermined the separation of church and state indicates that maybe things haven’t changed as much around Sand Ridge as they should have.

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