EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Weber High principal mishandled an investigation, complaints allege

Aug 31, 2023, 10:05 AM | Updated: 11:05 am

weber high school shown, PLEASANT VIEW, Utah -- The Weber High School principal placed on leave in ...

(Weber High School, Wikipedia Commons)

(Weber High School, Wikipedia Commons)

PLEASANT VIEW, Utah — Weber School District released more information Thursday surrounding the investigation into the Weber High School principal who was placed on leave in mid-August.

The district wrote in a press release that the investigation into Principal Chris Earnest began after she was tasked with investigating allegations against Weber High’s football coaches.

The release said a complaint filed before the beginning of this school year alleged that “one or more players had been recruited from the Davis School District by WHS assistant coaches.”

Weber School District spokesperson Lane Findlay said Earnest was assigned to conduct an investigation into this complaint. 

Findlay said as the school was concluding the investigation, concerns arose surrounding Earnest’s handling of the case – prompting the district to look into the integrity of her investigation.

“When you start to turn over some stones, there’s always that possibility you could find other things that need to be looked into. And that’s where we’re at right now.”

As the district conducted its investigation into Earnest, other allegations of unprofessional conduct and violations of district policies were brought to its attention, according to the district.

The district placed Earnest on administrative leave on Aug. 16 as it followed up on these complaints. 

‘Undue influence in the recruitment of players’

Findlay told KSL NewsRadio the district is still working through the case concerning the assistant coaches accused of recruiting from outside of the district. 

“There would be disciplinary action that could possibly be taken, and or corrective action.”

As it stands, Findlay said there is evidence to support the allegations.

“There was a determination made that a coach exercised undue influence in the recruitment of some players,” Findlay said. 

The district passes the case onto the Region 1 Board of Managers.

“Any sanctions that may be issued by Region 1, they would be issued, and then we would follow whatever those sanctions are in the recommendations,” Findlay said.

Findlay said the Utah High School Activities Association continues to review the eligibility of the allegedly recruited players.  

Related: Weber High principal on administrative leave amid district investigation

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Weber High principal mishandled an investigation, complaints allege