For just a few minutes during Monday’s regularly scheduled noon meeting, members of Rock Bridge High School’s Parent-Teachers-Student Association spoke supportively of Principal Bruce Brotzman, who left Friday for a leave-of-absence to last until his official resignation at the end of the school year.
Assistant Principal Kathy Ritter, who will take over Brotzman’s administrative duties, told PTSA members that Rock Bridge will complete the school year in a positive manner.
“He is a friend and a colleague, and I feel for what he and his family is going through,” she said after the meeting. “I respect the work he’s done at Rock Bridge.”
Brotzman had already resigned from the district in February but planned to finish the school year. He was later hired in March as an executive administrator for secondary education for Cedar Rapids Community Schools in Iowa and was expected to begin work July 1.
However, Brotzman, 46, resigned from Cedar Rapids on Thursday on the heels of a July 2004 sexual-misconduct complaint in which MU police barred him from Ellis Library and the university’s other libraries for one year.
The complaint made by Michael Hopkins, 22, an MU junior and library employee, and investigated by campus police stated that Brotzman had appeared sexually aroused and had touched himself before trying to do the same to Hopkins on the fourth floor of Ellis Library. No formal charges have been filed.
At the meeting, Ritter spoke about the situation in general terms but didn’t discuss it in detail because Rock Bridge students’ parents had already received a letter from the administration regarding the principal’s departure.
No parents, other than PTSA members, attended the meeting, but Ritter said she has received positive letters and other signs of support from Rock Bridge parents.
Amelia Cottle, a parent member of the PTSA, said Ritter emphasized that Rock Bridge staff members would “work as a team to make the rest of the school year run smoothly.”
Brotzman has done an excellent job as an administrator, Cottle said after the meeting.
“As a parent at Rock Bridge, I am deeply appreciative of everything he has done for our children, and I have the utmost faith in him,” she said.