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Parent’s concerned by Asst. Principal’s “homecoming gathering"

In one photo, roughly 30 DeForest students crowded together with no face masks.
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT
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DEFOREST, Wis. (WMTV) - Some parents in the DeForest School District are expressing their concerns after a DeForest High School Assistant Principal hosted a party for students.

A parent in the DeForest School District reached out to NBC15 Investigates about the party involving high school students, calling it a “disturbing” and “dangerous” thing to do during a pandemic. Other parents shared their opinions on social media, however, none agreed to speak with the NBC15 news team on camera.

The photo in question shows roughly 30 DeForest students crowded together with no face masks.

A photo of 32 DeForest high school students attending a party on Oct. 3
A photo of 32 DeForest high school students attending a party on Oct. 3(WMTV, Anonymous Source)

An NBC15 News reporter called School Supt. Eric Runez, whose own daughter attended the party.

Since homecoming was canceled, Runez explained that DeForest’s Assistant Principal, Matt Bauer, wanted to hold a gathering for his son and some friends with masks and physical distancing at their rural Sauk County home.

Runez said fewer than 20 people were expected to come, but 32 showed up.

“I understand, and I agree with the frustration that was raised. Hindsight is 2020, if I could make that parenting decision all over again and I know Mr. Bauer would say the same, I would not have done it, I would not have given my child my permission to participate,” Supt. Runez said.

Runez said this was not a school-sponsored event, and it was planned on Bauer’s private time.

“I understand that administrators are held to a higher standard, but we don’t penalize other parents for decisions that they make for their own child,” Supt. Runez said.

Bauer sent a message to parents, apologizing for the party. He called the gathering an ‘error in judgement’ on his part.

Assist. Principal Matt Bauer sent this message to parents, apologizing for the student gathering
Assist. Principal Matt Bauer sent this message to parents, apologizing for the student gathering(DeForest School District, Matt Bauer)

Runez added that because the gathering was not illegal and was done on Bauer’s private time on private property, the district is not expected to take any action against Bauer.

The superintendent said there were no COVID-19 cases that stemmed from the party.

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