BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Derrick Roberts' experience at Benton Central Junior Senior High School was not a cake walk. Roberts has epilepsy and was frequently bullied in school.
He said Benton Community Schools Superintendent Destin Haas played a big role in making his high school years as easy as possible by cracking down on bullies.
"He controlled them," Roberts said. "He made sure they were straight, and fine. If we wasn't around I don't know if anyone would listen."
Roberts and his mom, Donna, said they were upset when they found out Haas' contract is being cut short by two years. News 18 previously reported Haas said he and the school board signed a mutual agreement to end his contract on June 30, 2014.
His original contract ended in 2016. Haas told News 18 this weekend he was informed by the school board in June his contract would not be renewed after 2016.
"I think a lot of us wish we would have known back in June when it happened," Donna said. "It did not hit the newspaper. He made sure it didn't get known he was told that. If it had been known then we would've been fighting it then."
Many people said they found out the news on Facebook or other social media. A Facebook page called Support Mr. Haas already has nearly 900 likes as of Monday. And an online petition in support of Haas has nearly 600 signatures.
"Some of his former and current students are saying 'please stay positive families, please stay positive parents' because that is what Mr. Haas would want and wants," Donna said.
"I'm upset," Roberts said. "It's sad. He's a great guy, he's nice, he's fun."
A public hearing about the contract amendment will be at 1 p.m. October 8 at the district's administrative building. Then a special meeting to vote on the amendment will be October 15.
All five members of the school board either had no comment or did not return News 18's voicemails. Haas will not comment on why his contract is not being renewed.
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