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Suring school board places Superintendent Kelly Casper on paid administrative leave

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Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 09:45:19-05

SURING, Wis. (NBC 26) — At a Wednesday night meeting, Suring school board members voted unanimously to place Superintendent Kelly Casper on paid administrative leave.

"It's disgusting that it has to come to this," Suring parent Tabitha School said.

Concerned families spoke to the board on an emotional night, taking their first opportunity to speak publicly to members since the district's superintendent was criminally charged.

"We would fight for any single kid that had to go through this, because it's wrong," School said. "Every single thing that she did was wrong."

School board president Wayne Sleeter says curriculum coordinator Michelle Pendl will take over as interim superintendent.

Parents like Beth Narloch-Moede made statements just two days after the superintendent was charged with six counts of false imprisonment in connection to an incident where students were searched down to their underwear for vaping devices.

"I'm feeling partially relieved now," Narloch-Moede said. "I'm gonna feel a little bit safer sending my 15-year-old daughter to school."

The Oconto County District Attorney says Casper lacked legal authority to confine students in a small restroom during the searches back in January.

"The five weeks that has passed and every day knowing what happened and nothing's getting done... that part blows my mind," Narloch-Moede said.

"I believe I also speak for the board when I say this is easily the most difficult situation I've ever been involved with as a board member," Sleeter said.

The board president says members have been largely silent to this point because he doesn't want to create new legal troubles.

"As we know, the board and the sheriff's department are actively engaged in an investigation," he told attendees. "If we jump over that process, we open the district up to all kinds of legal exposure."

Since she was charged, officials report the superintendent has been working from home. According to Sleeter, he will take on superintendent duties that require a license.

"I'm hoping she gets convicted and she's done being around kids," Narloch-Moede said.

NBC 26 has reached out to Casper repeatedly over the last few weeks, but we haven't received comment. According to police documents, Casper says she was searching for vaping devices and that it was a growing problem at Suring High School.