Watch CBS News

Waterford School District parents speak out against hiring former Oxford High School principal

Waterford School District parents upset over assistant superintendent hire
Waterford School District parents upset over assistant superintendent hire 02:47

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - The Waterford School District hired former Oxford High School principal Steven Wolf, who worked during the 2021 tragic mass shooting at the school.

The school board made its final decision to hire Wolf as an assistant superintendent during a special meeting on June 13. Several community members felt they didn't have a chance to express their concerns then, so they made sure to get their point across during Thursday night's public comment period.

"Did you guys put the students first when you decided to hire this man who was so negligent in taking care of the students he was sworn to protect?" said Waterford parent Keith Simpson.

"I am a mother, speaking to you, saying I don't feel safe sending my kids to these schools every day now," said another parent, Nicole Navarro.

The parents said they would have urged the district to avoid hiring the person they said didn't do enough to prevent the 2021 Oxford High School mass shooting that killed four students.

"I want to continue to be proud to work here. I want to continue to feel safe. I want to continue to represent the families that I've loved so much for so long. I don't think it was the best decision for us. I just don't think it was," said Waterford teacher Heather Cipponeri.

The district said the June 13 meeting was properly posted and open to community members; however, some confusion might have stemmed from the meeting being rescheduled from a week prior. The board approved Wolf's hiring along with five other staff members with a 4-3 vote.

"It was an open meeting held right here at the township hall. Anyone could have attended that meeting, and it was posted ahead of time so people would know to attend if they had concerns about his hiring or anyone else's hiring at that time," said district communications director Sarah Davis.

The district is standing by its decision to make Wolf their new assistant superintendent for grades 6-12.

"We focused on the Guidepost report that stated 'Mr. Wolf had poise and bravery that day and he acted with appropriate actions.'

These words didn't change the board's vote, but it did allow these families to tell the board where their priorities lie, and that's with the safety of their children. That's something board and community members can agree on. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.