MOFFAT — According to a Saguache Sheriff’s Office report, citations for disorderly conduct have been issued following a physical and verbal altercation between two Moffat School administrators, which took place in full view of students, parents and other faculty members.
The Saguache County Sheriff’s Office reports the dispute arose over the decision not to call a snow day Monday, April 3 at Moffat School. The incident was reported to Saguache Sheriff Dan Warwick Tuesday, April 4 by school board president Jerry Berry. Berry told Warwick that Principal Michelle Hashbarger was upset because several teachers did not show up for work due to snow conditions but the school had not closed.
Written statements by faculty and office personnel show that both Hashbarger and interim superintendent Karen Hazard began arguing over the decision made concerning the snow situation, both yelling and cussing each other out. When the altercation became physical, staff members had to intervene to halt the fighting.
Hazard wrote in her statement following the incident that Hashbarger hit and scratched her.
Reports indicate that during the altercation, a student stood in front of the office door to prevent other students from seeing what was going on. The staff member noting this in the statements commented that the student’s action was more adult than those of the principal and interim superintendent.
Following the incident, a staff member decided it would be best to send students home, given the circumstances.
Warwick said it was decided citations would be issued to both women because the altercation occurred on school property during school hours in the presence of minor children and parents.
On Tuesday morning April 4, the Moffat School Board issued the following statement:
“An altercation took place between two staff people of the Moffat Consolidated School District #2. This took place at the Moffat campus during school hours within sight and hearing of a number of other staff as well as students and parents. The altercation involved the principal and the interim superintendent/business manager. Both employees were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a thorough investigation.
The board is alarmed and disturbed that an incident of this nature has occurred on the school campus, and is committed to taking appropriate steps to see that such incidents do not recur. Disruptive or disorderly behavior in the workplace, or in the school environment as a whole, cannot and will not be accepted or condoned.
The Moffat Consolidated School District #2 board of education strongly believes that our schools must be safe spaces in every sense of the word. We will act with all the authority and resources available to assure that our school is safe, orderly, respectful and positive for students, staff, parents and anyone who visits. These values are fundamental to any successful school and are the first priority of the board of education.
Any questions, concerns or inquiries should be directed to board president Jerry Berry who is the point of contact and spokesperson for the board at 719-745-0500 ext. 199.”
Moffat Schools bookkeeper Linda Stagner is now acting (interim) superintendent. Superintendent Kirk Banghart is currently on medical leave.