Principal pushed to retire speaks out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Principal pushed to retire speaks out

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Former Washington High School Principal Ralph Plagman speaks with KWWL in his home. Former Washington High School Principal Ralph Plagman speaks with KWWL in his home.
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Former Washington High School principal Ralph Plagman is speaking out after a sex scandal involving a teacher and a student rocked the school district.

Dr. Plagman released a statement to parents on Tuesday saying he was asked to retire by the Cedar Rapids School District.

We spoke with Dr. Plagman this morning at his home.

"I've been very blessed, I've had a chance to work in Cedar Rapids high schools for 49 years and it's been a joy," he told us.

After 35 years spent at Washington High School, decades of Warriors aren't happy he was asked to leave.

"I was really upset, I was sad I cried," Emma Parker told us, a student.

Some students rallied within hours of hearing the news and urged cars to honk in support.

"You can tell how much everyone loves him," Ava Klopfenstein said, a student.

Plagman was pushed out after a sex scandal involving substitute teacher Mary Beth Haglin and a high school boy.

Haglin claims the school knew about the relationship for months and kept it quiet.

"They didn't want it to look bad for the school," Haglin told us in an interview.

Plagman admitted the initial investigation was done internally in February.

"The first one another administrator and I conducted it and we believed the wrong people, we believed her in her denial and that turned to be wrong," Plagman says.

A few months later, a second investigation was underway, this time involving the school district.

"When entirely knew information came to us in May we realized we had made the wrong call and that ended the relationship with the school district, with Washington High School at least, that very day," Plagman told us.

Haglin was fired immediately following the second investigation.

A few months later, Dr. Plagman is no longer with the school and it's not the way many people wanted him to go out.

"We love DP we heard of his retirement we were all super heartbroken, people were crying so we were like let's give him the goodbye he deserves," said Nathaniel Burke, a student.

Dr. Plagman says although he may be leaving Washington High School he does not plan on leaving the community of Cedar Rapids.

We reached out to the Cedar Rapids School District for an interview following Dr. Plagman's retirement announcement and they declined our request.

In a statement on Tuesday the district wrote:

"The District just became aware that Dr. Plagman issued a statement to the Washington High School Community about his retirement. The statement represents Dr. Plagman's perception of events and is not an official District statement. Since the District's investigation into this matter has not concluded, the District will not substantively comment on Dr. Plagman's statement."

 
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