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Hanson fights school board's denial of leave

The Detroit Lakes School Board voted unanimously (with Tom Klyve being absent) to deny outgoing Roosevelt Elementary Principal Jerry Hanson his request for a leave of absence.

The 55-year-old Hanson, who took a job as a principal in Fargo, would have been eligible for full retirement in Minnesota next year.

School Board Vice Chair Dr. Tom Seaworth said the board typically approves a leave of absence when the employee leaves to gain experience and training with plans to return to the district.

"And in the past we denied a teacher a leave of absence in a circumstance like this, so we have precedence there," said Seaworth, who expressed concern that he didn't want a leave of absence "looming over the head" of the new principal.

Board member Terrie Boyd said she was concerned about having "consistent leadership" for the students.

"And this doesn't allow the new administrator to make it their own and the kids to gel with it."

Hanson has an attorney looking into the matter, and although he cannot say much about the issue, he does say he believes the school board needs to provide a real reason for the denial.

Hanson has been at Roosevelt for 10 years.