After Community Showing, Assistant Principal is Back to Work
Joseph Tapler had been placed on medical leave in late June, though will be back to work in time for the new school year after many members of the community showed up to support him at last month's school board meeting.
About a month after a couple hundred of residents poured into a Rocky Point School Board meeting, many of whom called for the reinstatement of an assistant principal they said was unfairly forced into a medical leave of absence, Joseph Tapler is back to work.
School Board President Michael Nofi confirmed that Tapler was back in his role at Monday night's board of education meeting when it was brought up during the meeting's public portion, and a spokeswoman for the district said the same on Tuesday.
Stacy King-Golik, a friend of Tapler's who had publicized effort to get him back to work, said on Tuesday that the assistant principal at Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School is "elated he's back. He's looking forward to the new year."
Tapler's wife, Judy, spoke at the last board meeting in defense of her husband. She said that Tapler had confided in Susan Wilson, executive director for educational services, explaining his concerns to her about "different illegal, unethical, immoral things going on in the school district."
She said he later went to take some sick days due to high blood pressure – with Wilson's support – only to come back to find out he had to take a psychological evaluation. The evaluation reportedly concluded that he was unfit to serve around children, and she said he was immediately placed on leave in late June and ordered off school grounds.
Last month's meeting drew considerable comment from the public about Tapler's reinstatement, among other things – so much so, that the school board adopted a new policy before Monday's meeting laying out rules of order for speaking.
The school district has not commented on the record about the circumstances surrounding Tapler's leave, and it's not clear if someone who was hired to handle his duties while on leave is still employed by the district.