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Gresham district reaches tentative settlement with principal

Klansnic, district officials appear to have resolved claim that he was fired because he was gay

The Gresham-Barlow School District has reached a tentative agreement with a principal who had accused the district of dismissing him because of his sexual orientation.

In a statement released Wednesday, the district said the dispute with North Gresham Elementary School Principal Tom Klansnic is close to being resolved “without an admission or finding of liability or wrongdoing.”

The agreement follows a mediation session between the principal and district representatives on Monday. Full terms of the agreement were not yet available, but they do include a provision that Klansnic will leave his position after this week. An interim principal will finish out the year at North Gresham.

In March, Klansnic’s attorney went public with the principal’s claim that the school district had declined to renew his contract because he is gay. The district denied it had discriminated against Klansnic due to sexual orientation. However, Klansnic’s story made international headlines and also prompted protests from many parents and students.

On Wednesday, Gresham-Barlow Superintendent Jim Schlachter reiterated that the district “is fully aligned with its nondiscrimination policies.”

Klansnic could not immediately be reached for comment, but the statement on Wednesday also said that district administrators and the principal “believe this tentative agreement is an important step toward keeping the district and North Gresham Elementary School focused on meeting the needs of our students.”