SALT LAKE CITY -- A Salt Lake City principal under police investigation for an incident at school has announced she’s retiring, the Salt Lake City School District confirmed Tuesday.
The news comes one week after parents found out the school district placed Laurie Lacy on leave, amid a police and school investigation.
While Salt Lake City police and the district would not confirm the details of the investigation, a source close to the situation had said Lacy’s accused of punishing a student on April 7 by forcing him to take off his pants with no underwear on, and sit half-naked in a chair in the corner of the office.
The source had said the 1st-grade student’s teacher brought him to Lacy’s office because he kept pulling his pants down at recess.
“I couldn't believe that somebody that high up in the school would do something like that,” said Veronica Aguilar, an Edison Elementary parent who lives near the school. “Just wondering what the kids are going through, and what they're thinking… and is this really a safe place? That's what's concerning.”
Salt Lake City Police had said they were contacted about the incident a few days after it happened, and that the Special Victims Unit was investigating.
Now the school district said Lacy, “has informed us that she has made the decision to retire so she won't be returning,” said Jason Olsen, Communications Officer for the Salt Lake City School District.
A letter from the district to parents on Tuesday made it sound like the retirement already happened, but Lacy said in an email on Tuesday evening, “I do plan to retire though it is not immediate.”
She said she could not comment further.
“It doesn't change our investigation at all,” Olsen said. “Our investigation continues. We are talking to anybody at the school who may have pertinent information in this case.”
While they continue work on what happened that day, parents like Aguilar are left wondering.
“If she didn't think that she was in the wrong, why resign?” Aguilar asked.
Olsen said the assistant principal will take over day-to-day operations for the rest of the school year, and the school district has already posted the job online to begin the search for a new principal ASAP.
He said they hope to hire a new principal well before this coming fall.