Clarkton High School principal placed on paid leave

Even before he was let go early, students made a push for Harlow to remain in Clarkton.
Even before he was let go early, students made a push for Harlow to remain in Clarkton.

CLARKTON, MO (KFVS) - Clarkton High School is looking for a new principal. Meanwhile, the community is looking for answers as to why school board members voted to put Rob Harlow on Paid Administrative Leave last week.

"The kids all love him," said parent, Debbie Jones. "Nobody will tell us what's going on."

"If there is a good reason they need to speak out and tell us what it is," said Selena Taylor.

While parents like Taylor and Jones say they have plenty of questions, Superintendent Phillip Harrison says he isn't able to discuss the issue.

He did offer a statement, saying the issue of Mr. Harlow's employment arrangement with the school district is a personnel issue and cannot be elaborated on. Harrison says he considers the leave to be permanent and Mr. Scottie Blackburn is now the interim principal.

According to school board members, putting Harlow on leave came down to a vote of 4-3. Board members say the issue surrounded too many kids put in In School Suspension, and lack of order at the high school.

Board members and Superintendent Harrison did say letting Harlow go early didn't have anything to do with Harlow's decision to take a job in Bunker starting next year.

"He was pushed out," said Tyler Miller, an Alderman and friend of Harlow's. "He wasn't given an option."

Even before he was let go early, students made a push for Harlow to remain in Clarkton. There's even a Facebook group called Keep Coach Harlow.

"Him leaving is a blow to our school. The kids are crushed," said Miller.

Superintendent Harrison says he has the best interest of the school and kids at heart. He tells Heartland News he hopes to find a permanent replacement by the end of April.

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