Parents criticize $500,000 lawsuit settlement against Reeds Spring superintendent

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REEDS SPRING, Mo. (KSPR) -- Parents are asking the Reeds Spring schools for answers after it settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against the superintendent for half a million dollars then renewed the superintendent’s contract.

Now whether parents want for the superintendent to stay or they want for him to resign both sides seem to agree this is a tough decision.

“Your own Title IX Coordinator found that Mr. Mason sexually harassed Mrs. Gronvold,” said Rick Stebbins, a concerned parent.

Reeds Spring schools parents are passionate about their kids and doing what is right.

“No one is perfect. But when people are doing what they honestly believe is best for our kids, I’m all in,” stated Dee Comeaux, a concerned parent.

The trouble is they do not agree what to do with the superintendent.

“I’ve heard from other people that his power has been taken away, so he’s still employed, he’s still earning the same salary, but he’s not doing the full job? This doesn’t make sense,” stated a concerned parent, Sandy Lehman.

“What I know is that if you take a 25 year career and base it on one mistake, I don’t want my life to be done that way,” said Kristal Porter, who is a school board member’s wife.

Some are standing by board members’ decision to renew Superintendent Michael Mason’s contract another year.

“Each and every one of you stand for our children and I thank you. I appreciate each and every one,” said Shirley West, who attended the meeting.

This after the district settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against superintendent mason for half-a-million dollars.

“This is so close to sexual assault it’s ridiculous that you approved and renewed a contract on someone that did this. How would you like it if it was your daughter?” asked another parent.

Others think this is a farce.

“If the consequences of these actions weren’t so serious, I would feel like I’m in the middle of a Marx Brothers routine,” Stebbins said.

Some got angry.

“The court documents state the superintendent told the former principal he liked watching her on cameras. Seriously? This has to be offensive to every female in this district,” said Sandy Lehman, who is a concerned parent.

Others turned emotional as they defended their spouses and the decision.

“This is a lot harder to sit here and take, but there must be a reason why and I don’t know all the answers. I can tell you I believe in my husband. I believe in every single one of you,” finished Nettie Greenwalt, who is a school board member’s wife.

KSPR News asked the board president why he didn't talk about the petition nor the dozens of people who spoke with concerns. He said, under Sunshine Law, he is unable to answer or respond to people who are not on the agenda.