Moton Elementary administrators off the job

Posted at 2:15 PM, May 02, 2016

Parents want to know why two Hernando County Elementary school administrators are facing an investigation.


Moton Elementary School’s principal Mark Griffith and assistant principal Anna Jensen are both on temporary leave.  


The school district is not saying what the investigation is about but would only confirm that one is underway.


Parents speaking to ABC Action News say if it involves students, they deserve to know about it.


“It definitely needs to be out. I think it should have already been out when they got suspended,” Ashalina Malicoate said.


When we stopped by the school, the interim administration said it couldn’t answer any of our questions.


Joyce Lewis, former assistant principal at Brooksville Elementary, was filling in for Griffith on Friday. The secretary at the Moton’s front desk said Lewis was at the school on Monday as well. Longtime coach and Central High School assistant principal Steve Crognale was filling in Monday as well. 


After reaching out to all school board members ABC Action News learned they were told the investigation was about possible testing violations. 


We were told there is no confirmation of any wrong doing. Board members say if the district is informed of anything like that, by law it has to investigate. 


Not knowing what to expect, many parents voiced their concerns online. With rumors and speculation swirling, parents just want the truth.


In a Facebook post one mom said she understands that investigations take time but said it's not putting parents at ease. 


“I think it's ridiculous,” Vanessa Maukdoane said.


But not everyone feels the same.


“If it's personal business, then it's not my business,” David Shank said.


The Hernando County school district wouldn’t return our calls for comment but did release the following statement: “We can only confirm that we are currently conducting an investigation at Moton Elementary. We have no further comment at this time.”


While some parents are upset, many staff members and other parents posted good things about the administrators on leave. 


Many said they’ll stand by their principals until all the facts come out. Others parents tell ABC Action News they have no complaints about the administrators, saying Griffith and Jensen treat students with the utmost respect. One mom said Griffith is best principal in Hernando. 

Another called Jenson one of the greatest student-focused administrators. 


“I don’t think it has anything to do with how he works the school. My kids have been going here years now,” Shank said.


While the district won’t say what the investigation is about, board members say the district’s business office is handling it. In the meantime we’re told both Griffith and Jensen are working at other schools in the district until the investigation is over. 


Parents who want answers say they plan to attend the weekly scheduled school board meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday.