COMMERCIAL-NEWS | ROBERT TOMLINSON - Andrews Elementary School Principal Ben McIntyre, pictured here in 2020, was reinstated from administrative leave by the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education on Monday, April 18, following the result of Title IX and workplace misconduct investigations that began in February.

Andrews El. principal reinstated following Title IX, workplace misconduct investigation

THREE RIVERS — A suspended school principal is back on the job after two investigations in the last two months.

Andrews Elementary School Principal Ben McIntyre was found to have violated “several” board policies, failed to perform “certain job duties he was expected to perform,” and violated his employment contract, according to the results of a Three Rivers Community Schools investigation into Title IX and workplace misconduct allegations against him.

Despite the results, the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education unanimously reinstated McIntyre to his post as principal for the remainder of the school year during their April 18 board meeting, which went into effect Monday. The decision followed a two-hour closed session, where they discussed the issue, including material that was subject to attorney-client privilege.

In a written statement released Monday, TRCS Board of Education President Erin Nowak said McIntyre “has the ability to exercise better judgment going forward” and had a “clean” disciplinary record prior to the complaints, factors that led to the district reinstating him as principal.

“Mr. McIntyre had been an exemplary employee before these complaints and concerns were brought to the District’s attention and he had a clean disciplinary record up to the filing of the complaint,” the statement read. “Therefore, it is the Board’s decision that, effective April 25, 2022, Mr. McIntyre will be reinstated to his principal position at Andrews Elementary School for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.”

McIntyre had been on administrative leave since February prior to his reinstatement. The Commercial-News filed a Freedom of Information Act request Wednesday, April 20, for additional information about the situation surrounding McIntyre’s administrative leave and eventual reinstatement beyond what was presented in Monday’s statement.

McIntyre did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

According to the statement, on Feb. 14, 2022, a TRCS employee filed a Title IX complaint against McIntyre, which was reviewed by the district’s Title IX coordinator, with witness interviews conducted to determine if a violation had occurred and both parties providing “supportive measures” during the course of the investigation. No details about the specific allegations were discussed in the statement. The complaint was eventually dismissed on March 7.

While the Title IX complaint was dismissed, according to the statement there were “additional” workplace misconduct allegations levied against McIntyre during the district’s investigation, none of which were detailed in the statement. Thrun Law Firm and attorney Timothy Gardner, Jr. conducted the investigation into the allegations.

Upon completing witness interviews and a review of board policies, according to the statement, Gardner concluded that McIntyre “did violate the Michigan Revised School Code, several board policies and his employment contract.”

The Board of Education came to the decision they made after reviewing Thrun Law Firm’s investigation report. In Nowak’s statement it reads that the Board “will continue to listen to the school community and take actions that serve the best interest of the District’s students.”

McIntyre has been principal of Andrews Elementary since 2015.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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