A late-evening email on Saturday informed Mehlville families that Dr. Jim Walters won't be returning as principal of Point Elementary School.
Eric Knost, superintendent of the Mehlville School District, alerted parents to the news at 8 p.m. Whether Walters resigned or was terminated by the district is unknown.
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Walters is scheduled for a trial on July 26 after being issued a lewd and indecent conduct citation on March 16 in Forest Park. A park ranger "observed subject Walters grab his genitals while talking to a person in his vehicle," the citation notes. A copy of the citation is attached to this article.
Walters' lawyer, Neil Bruntrager of Bruntrager and Billings law firm, has maintained that his client is innocent of any charges filed against him.
Walters was placed on paid administrative leave on March 26. At the time, district officials said Walters would remain on leave until an internal investigation was completed.
It is still unclear whether the district completed the investigation. In his email to parents, Knost acknowledged that the public hasn't learned many details about the incident:
"I realize many of you may have questions regarding the reasons Dr. Walters will not be returning to his principal duties; however, please know it is inappropriate for the district to disclose or discuss such personnel matters relating to employees."
Walters started working as Point's principal in 2007. Before that, he worked in the Affton, Francis Howell and Bayless school districts as an elementary teacher, assistant principal and principal.
Former Beasley Elementary School principal Jim Schibig has filled in as a temporary principal. The district immediately will begin searching for a full-time replacement for Walters, Knost stated in the email.
Read more about Jim Walters
- Trial Date Set for Point Elementary Principal Jim Walters (May 8, 2012)
- Jim Walters' Attorney: My Client is Innocent (April 24)
- Retired Beasley Principal to Step in for Jim Walters (March 26)
- Superintendent Releases Letter About Walters Citation (March 20)
- Parents Defend Jim Walters After Indecent Conduct Citation (March 22)
- Confusion Surrounds Point Principal's Indecent Conduct Citation (March 19)
The full text of the email is available below.
May 12, 2012
As stated in our March 20, 2012 email, the Mehlville School District was notified on March 19, 2012, of lewd and indecent conduct allegations involving Jim Walters, the principal at Point Elementary School. The District promptly began an investigation and stated the principal would not return to Point Elementary unless and until we determined to do so was appropriate and safe for students. Mr. Jim Schibig was selected to serve as a substitute principal during Dr. Walters’ absence.
Regretfully, I am writing to inform you that Dr. Walters will not be returning as the principal for Point Elementary School. The District will immediately begin work to secure an excellent principal for Point's future. I realize many of you may have questions regarding the reasons Dr. Walters will not be returning to his principal duties; however, please know it is inappropriate for the District to disclose or discuss such personnel matters relating to employees.
As always, students are our top priority in the Mehlville School District. We will continue to follow all necessary and desirable procedures in order to ensure the best and most appropriate environment for all District students.
Dr. Eric D. Knost