Solon High School principal cleared of wrongdoing following police investigation

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SOLON, Ohio (WJW) – The principal of Solon High School, who had been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation, has been cleared of wrongdoing and will not be charged, Solon police confirmed.

The Solon School District Superintendent Fred Bolden sent a letter to school and staff last month, alerting them that Principal Erin Short had been placed on leave on February 15 “due to a concern” the school had received.

Erin Short, Courtesy: Solon School District

The notice to parents said the allegation was about conduct that happened more than a decade ago.

Short became principal at the high school in 2010 and was an associate principal at the school for 10 years prior.

Bolden sent out a statement to school families and staff Wednesday regarding the update:

I learned this afternoon and confirmed verbally with the Solon Police Department that the prosecutor’s office will file no charges against Solon High School Principal Erin Short. Ms. Short was placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 15, in keeping with the District’s standard operating procedures and pending the outcome of the investigation into a concerning email sent to our Board members on Feb. 14.

We have not yet received the final results of the police investigation into this matter or formal notification from the prosecutor’s office, but we expect that shortly. Once we receive this information, we will have further details on when we will welcome Erin Short back to her duties as principal.

On Monday, Short released a statement explaining that a “100% false” email was sent out to the school board last month.

“On February 14, 2021, a fraudulent email was sent to members of the Solon Board of Education,” Short said in a statement. “The sender of this email created a fictitious email account by using a false name in order to falsely accuse me of inappropriate conduct. It is an unfortunate sign of the times that anyone can hide behind a computer, create a fake email account, and defame anyone of their choosing with a few key strokes.”

Last month, Principal Short also released a statement saying she had been forthcoming with both the Solon Board of Education and law enforcement.

“I unequivocally and categorically deny the false and defamatory allegation that has been made against me,” she said in part.

“I will zealously pursue all damages as a result of the false and defamatory allegation that has been made against me,” she said.

Read the full statements from Short and the superintendent from last month below.

Dear Students, Staff, and the Solon Community:

              As the community is aware, I have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Solon Board of Education and law enforcement.

From the onset of the investigation, I have been completely forthcoming and cooperative with both the Solon Board of Education and law enforcement. I unequivocally and categorically deny the false and defamatory allegation that has been made against me. Going forward, I will continue to be forthcoming and cooperative with both the Board of Education and law enforcement until this investigation is resolved. Moreover, I will zealously pursue all damages as a result of the false and defamatory allegation that has been made against me.

Ultimately, I look forward to returning to my position as Principal of Solon High School and leading our nationally recognized students and staff to achieving continued academic, educational and community excellence for many years to come.

Erin Short, Principal

Dear Solon High School Families and Staff,

We are reaching out to inform you that the District has placed Solon High School Principal Erin Short on paid administrative leave due to a concern received last week. We take this matter seriously. Although we have not been able to confirm the source of the information, and the claim involves conduct alleged to have occurred more than a decade ago, we immediately initiated an investigation and shared this information with the Solon Police Department. The police are investigating the matter as well as the identity of the individual who expressed the concern. We are fully cooperating with police in the investigation.

We placed Ms. Short on paid administrative leave on February 15, in keeping with the District’s standard operating procedures and pending the outcome of the investigation. During this time, Assistant Principal Erica Kosiorek is serving as acting principal. Because the investigation is ongoing, we cannot share further details at this time.

Fred Bolden, Superintendent

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