After the arrest of a York County elementary school principal last Friday, the York County School Division did not immediately notify the school community of the principal’s administrative leave.
Kristin Bolam, principal at Mt. Vernon Elementary School since 2017, was arrested last Friday. On May 3 officers were called by a local doctor’s office about a juvenile that came in with scratches on his neck and a bruise on his leg, according to reports from the James City County Police Department. The doctor’s office reported that a family member had allegedly assaulted the juvenile.
Bolam was arrested and taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail on the charge of assault and battery of a family member.
Katherine Goff, spokeswoman for the school district, said it is the division’s expectations that when charges might be pending or a summons might be issued for a division employee, staff members should self-report the case.
Goff said Bolam did notify the division of the charges and she was placed on administrative leave.
But the Mt. Vernon community was not notified of the incident nor the disruption in leadership until Wednesday.
“It is not division practice to comment on personnel matters,” Goff said.
In an email sent to families, Victor Shandor, superintendent, addressed the matter.
“While the division does not typically share personnel matters with parents and staff, I felt it important to communicate with you today to address any possible misconceptions regarding this situation” according to the email.
Shandor assured parents in the email Bolam’s arrest did not involve a student in the district.
When asked what type of incident would require parent notification, Goff said the division would look at each separate incident individually and make that decision based on the specific details.
Goff also said even though Bolam was in a leadership position, the division follows the same practices and procedures regarding notification and review across the board for all staff members.
Regarding a specific example of an incident that would require family notification, Goff said she did not have one off the top of her head.
During Bolam’s administrative leave, Goff said the division’s leadership team and the school’s assistant principal, Todd Miller, is working with staff at the school to assist with day-to-day operations. She said it is division policy to keep a staff member on administrative leave until there is a resolution of their charges.
It’s too early to say if a new principal would need to be hired should the court case proceed into the school year, Goff said.
James Richardson, chairman of the York County School Board, declined to comment and directed that all questions to Goff.
Bolam’s trial will be on July 19 at 9 a.m. in the Williamsburg-James City County Juvenile Domestic Relations Court, according to a court clerk.