The Chairperson of the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Board of Directors told KDHL today the decision to fire Franz Boelter from the head volleyball coaching position was the President/Principal's to make.

Jim Beckmann told me there is no official statement developed by the BA Board of Directors and declined a taped interview.  He said the school, "Doesn't comment on personnel matters."

In Coach Boelter's statement regarding being dismissed as the volleyball coach he said, "The President/Principal and the Executive Committee of the BA Board of Directors informed me that I would not be returning as the volleyball coach on Friday morning, February 9."

Beckmann said BA policy says,"The only person who can make a hiring or firing decision is the President/Principal." and the Board of Directors hires the President/Principal.

The Board is comprised of fifteen members and six of them serve on the Executive Committee.  Beckmann is on the Executive Committee and said a couple of their members were at the meeting where President/Principal Dr. Chuck Briscoe informed Boelter of the decision to dismiss him.

Beckmann said he could speak on behalf of the Bethlehem Academy Board of Directors and stated, "We have complete trust and confidence in Dr. Briscoe to make the appropriate employment decisions for Bethlehem Academy."

I spoke with Boelter this afternoon and state law says he can request a hearing and also determine if the hearing is public or closed.  He is requesting a open meeting on February 21st.  No word yet on if the board has agreed to that date.

One of the spokespersons for the student protesters Olivia Nass told me they were "happy to hear about the public meeting and many of us plan to be there and support keeping Franz as our coach."

The Fight For Franz Facebook Group had scores of support messages within 24 hours of the news becoming public and there are more people still adding to those comments.

At this posting there were 709 members in the "Secret Group."

I'll keep you posted.

Faribault Bethlehem Academy Student Protesters. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld