High school administrators resign in wake of text messages mocking former students
CRESWELL, Ore. (KVAL) - Two high school administrators have resigned after being caught exchanging text messages mocking former students who had transferred from their school.
"I have accepted the resignations of Creswell High School Principal Andy Bracco and Assistant Principal Jordan Osborn, effective immediately," Superintendent Todd Hamilton wrote in a message to staff and parents Friday.
Before news came of their resignations, about 50 parents and students had gathered outside Creswell High School on Friday to express their concerns about the actions of the administrators.
The two exchanged text messages during a basketball game between Pleasant Hill and Creswell on January 13.
Someone shot a photograph of the exchange over Osborn's shoulder as he watched the game. The photo circulated on social media and reached local newsrooms.
In the messages, the two mock the appearance of a former Creswell student who transferred to Pleasant Hill and became a cheerleader after enduring bullying at the school.
The girl's father said she had confided in Bracco about the bullying while still a student at Creswell High.
"She was constantly confiding in the principal of the school," Fred Stauffer said of his daughter Rachel, "so the very person that attacked her was who she was confiding in."
The text message exchange also suggests another former Creswell student was "snorting coke."
An image of Osborn holding up both middle fingers to the camera while seated at his desk at Creswell High also circulated on social media.
It's an image, according to district officials, that was taken on a school camera and meant to be deleted and not seen by students.
Bracco and Osborn apologized for both incidents in a message to the school community.
"Jordan and I are very remorseful, especially if our actions have hurt, embarrassed or offended any students, parents, or staff," Bracco wrote. | READ THE FULL LETTER
News of the text messages and photograph reached the broader public this week.
On Wednesday night, state Sen. Sara Gelser of Corvallis posted about the news on Facebook.
"Please join me in asking Creswell School District why these two administrators are still employed," Gelser said in the post.
On Thursday, superintendent Hamilton said both Bracco and Osborn had been placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday afternoon.
In resigning, Hamilton said the two hoped it would help "begin the process of healing."
"Both stated to me that they love their jobs, but that they also love their students, staff and this community," he wrote. "They are very remorseful for their actions and realize their resignations would be best for everyone to begin the process of healing from the events of the last week."
Full letter from superintendent
I have accepted the resignations of Creswell High School Principal Andy Bracco and Assistant Principal Jordan Osborn, effective immediately. Both stated to me that they love their jobs, but that they also love their students, staff and this community. They are very remorseful for their actions and realize their resignations would be best for everyone to begin the process of healing from the events of the last week.
I am putting together a plan to provide administrative leadership at CHS for the remainder of the school year. In the short-term, former Creswell teacher and retired administrator Marcy Rice will step in as principal. Marcy spent many years as a highly-regarded educator in Creswell before retiring as an administrator in Bethel School District. She has deep connections in our community and has a reputation for developing strong and supportive relationships with students and staff at all levels. Also providing support will be Special Services Director David Bascue who already has valuable connections with the high school, and teacher and administrative intern Rob Jerome. We will also begin our search for new permanent academic leaders for our high school.
As always, the most important people on our minds are our children. Creswell schools are filled with wonderful students who are served by devoted and caring educators. We have a supportive community which cares deeply about its students and its schools. This has been a difficult week but we are stronger when we work together. Collectively we will restore the pride and trust that our children, staff and community deserve.
Creswell School District
"Preparing Students for Success"