Student remarks about principal’s misconduct were deleted

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) — At least two students of an Oregon high school tried to alert staff about their principal three years before he was investigated for sexually abusing a former student.

The Register-Guard reports that some board members of Academy of Arts and Academics in Springfield knew of the students’ remarks about principal Mike Fisher but didn’t notify school staff or police. Instead, the board deleted the comments from a 2015 anonymous school survey.

Springfield police began investigating earlier this year after a teacher reported overhearing a rumor involving Fisher. The Springfield School District placed Fisher on leave Jan. 31. He killed himself the next day.

School and police documents show Fisher had sexually abused a former student when she was 14 and continued into adulthood. Fisher later hired that student to work at the school.

The board co-president in 2015 told the newspaper she doesn’t remember why she directed the survey comments be deleted. Becky Stenzel says she assumed the alleged relationship was mutual.