AUBURN – Auburn School Superintendent Kevin Reiman announced his resignation Monday citing a divided school district.
In a statement to the school board, Reiman apologized for allowing school surveillance video to make its way to social media.
Reiman: “I take full responsibility for the release of the video. I should have exercised greater caution while examining the video to ensure that it could not be viewed by my family or released to the greater public.”
He apologized to students in the video and the entire school district.
Reiman: “I made a mistake. One of the things, over the years, when I’ve talked to the students when students have made mistakes, I say we’re all human. It’s not our failures, our mistakes that define us, it’s how we bounce back from those.”
Board Chairman Mike Zaruba said the school does not yet have a specific policy banning the viewing of school surveillance video off of school grounds, but said Reiman’s comments about the video speak for themselves.
Audio of the recording, includes comments about how a student appears to be unprepared to react to the violence he is witnessing.
Reiman, who has been with the Auburn schools for 20 years and the last eight as superintendent, said it is in the best interest of cohesiveness for him to resign.
Reiman: “It became clear to me that the fight, whether I would stay or go, would rip the community apart and the students and school district apart and I just wasn’t willing to do that. So, I felt for the greater good that it was best to resign.”
Zarbua said he has had contacts with over 750 people over the issue.
Zarbua: “The division was significant and let’s face it, all small schools, our district, we face many challenges going forward, especially with funding – state aid is being cut – and with that we have to be a unified district. We have to come together. It’s imperative that we come together as a district. If we do, we’ll succeed. If we remain divided, then we are sure to fail. We’re sure to go backwards.”
He said he was mortified when he first saw the video because he knew it would put the district in a difficult situation. He said there are people on both sides of the issue that are angry and long-time friends who are now not speaking to each other.
Reiman urged the community to act with the best interest of the school district.
Reiman: “I would ask all patrons, whether they support me or not, to come together behind the school district and students. Now, more than ever, they need our support.”
Zaruba said the school board will now start the work of finding a superintendent who can lead the school district forward.