Traverse City West Senior High Principal, Assistant Principal Suspended For Missing Rock
The disappearance of a rock at a northern Michigan high school has students in shock and the principal and an assistant principal set to be suspended.
Traverse City Area Public Schools declined to talk to us on camera Saturday, but they say their investigation was done on August 31 to find out what happened to West Senior High’s rock.
The results revealed the principal and an assistant principal worked together to bury the rock and then tried to cover it up when originally confronted about it.
“Soon as I pulled up to school the first day it was not there,” says junior Jeremy Gauden
There’s a small lot of grass with a touch of spray paint left where the rock used to sit.
Students say it wasn’t just any rock, it was their voice, which sometimes got controversial.
Gauden reminisces on the school spirit the rock brought. “We always had that rock there. There was always something painted on it and before I even went to the high school I knew about that rock so it was just our thing.”
Lundyn Granquist, a senior says, “There has been controversy around it, but we use it to express ourselves and tell the daily events and give our opinions.”
It’s the unthinkable to hear that their principal Joe Esper and assistant principal Charles Kolbusz buried the rock and tried to cover it up.
Granquist says, “It’s a shock to us, our school standards always tell us every student has a voice and it’s meant to be heard, but they went completely over that and silenced all of us.”
TCAPS says the principal will have a five-day suspension without pay and the assistant principal will have a two-day suspension without pay, but the days have not yet been set.
As for students, they want more than just their rock back.
“I feel like the outcome would be best if our principal started respecting the student body as growing adults and some are adults at this point and to respect how we feel and to ask us,” says Granquist.
Gauden says he understands why administration may have taken the rock away, but he wants to hear the reason from them and hopes this issue does not define the school. ”I just think even if we don’t have the rock at our school we’re still a good school. We still have a lot of school spirit, we still will have one of the best student sections, we’re still going to be one of the best schools in Michigan, in the country.”