MEDINA -- A public forum drew harsh criticism from students and parents in the Medina City Schools.
The board agreed to a lucrative contract for Superintendent Dr. Randy Stepp, even though this district has no busing and teachers are taking contract concessions to keep the district in the black.
The Medina superintendent agreed to pay back the bonus. He even passed on merit pay.
Still outraged parents and teachers packed the Performing Arts Center auditorium Friday night to give the board something -- a piece of their minds.
There was no escaping it. Medina parents and students were letting the school board and superintendent have it.
"It seems like all this went down behind our backs. It doesn't sound good," Parent James Duke said.
The board has defended its decision to reward Superintendent Randy Stepp with thousands in signing and merit bonuses because he's worth it.
Even Stepp was humbled by the district's response.
"Not every leader is perfect. Not every leader makes the best decision but in my heart I care about kids. I care about this district and community, " Dr. Stepp said.
The wound dug deeper after the Medina community learned that Dr. Stepp's school loans, which totaled nearly a quarter of a million dollars, were paid for by the district.
"I tell my kids all the time, no, I just don't understand where in any of your minds you thought that was ok," another parent told the board.
The superintendent's salary snafu has jeopardized the teacher union vote on a contract. It crushed momentum to pass a levy in May.
The district may have gotten back the bonuses but it will take more then an admission of guilt to get back the trust of a district.
"In the face of community pressure, I was probably overly generous," board member Bill Grenfell said.