Two Spotsylvania High School administrators are being reassigned, but School Board members are not saying why.

Principal Rusty Davis will become the school system’s supervisor of operations and facilities planning, and Athletic Director Buddy Herndon will become a world languages teacher at a school to be determined, according to a personnel report approved by the School Board on Monday. The changes will take effect at the end of this school year.

Efforts to reach Davis and Herndon were unsuccessful. Davis has been principal for nine years, and Herndon became the school’s athletic director in 2005 after a four-year stint as a Latin teacher.

In an email addressed to the “Spotsylvania High School community,” Davis wrote that he had accepted another position effective July 1 that will let him “continue my passion of providing the best learning environment and opportunities for students.” He wrote that the process of choosing a new principal had started and that he would be available to assist.

It’s unclear if the job changes have anything to do with the school’s handling of a locker room sexual assault case that resulted in the arrests of five Spotsylvania High football players in November. The charges included felony sexual penetration, sexual battery and assault by mob.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched an investigation of Spotsylvania schools on Nov. 9, shortly before the assault allegation went public. Details of the investigation have not been released.

An education department spokesman would not say if it was connected to the sexual assault, but did say the investigation involved “issues of Title VI (discipline).” Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.

The Free Lance-Star has a Freedom Information Act request pending for the complaint that spurred the investigation.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Travis Bird has declined to discuss the status of the cases against the football players because they are juveniles—or were at the time of the incident. The incident occurred Oct. 23 in the school locker room prior to a trip for an away football game, the Sheriff’s Office said in November.

Two players, ages 14 and 15, say they were hazed and assaulted by several older members of the team. One of them was sexually assaulted with a broomstick, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said they investigated a complaint shortly after the alleged incident, but no charges were filed after at least one of the victims initially denied that anything had happened.

Reached Tuesday, School Board members were mum on the reassignments of Davis and Herndon.

Vice Chairwoman Erin Grampp said she didn’t think she could comment on personnel matters. "It was closed-session stuff," she added.

School Board member Amanda Blalock also said she could not discuss personnel decisions. She noted that Superintendent Scott Baker oversees personnel matters and recommends any changes to the School Board.

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Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402

jbranscome@freelancestar.com

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