The assistant principal of Atlantic High School has resigned following a long-running dispute that stemmed from the strip-searching of several girls in the gym locker room after the alleged theft of money. School board president Phil Hascall read a statement concerning the latest development on Tuesday night.

The statement said: “The Atlantic Community School District Board of Directors accepted a letter of resignation during tonight’s Board meeting from Paul Croghan from the position of Assistant Principal/Activities Director. After lengthy deliberation and in consideration of his years of service to the district, Mr. Croghan decided it was in the best interest of all parties to resign.”

Hascall said Croghan didn’t specifically mention in his letter if his resignation was tied to the negative publicity the district has received following the August 21st search of several girls over the matter of $100 reported missing by a fellow female classmate. A report from the district later confirmed the incident took place, but didn’t conclude whether school policy or state law was followed, or whether any faculty member should be disciplined.

In September, an unnamed administrator for the district was placed on paid leave while an investigation into the incident was underway. While never officially identified as that administrator, Croghan has not been seen at the high school since then, and other administrators have helped to handle his duties. Superintendent Dan Crozier said at last night’s meeting, efforts will begin to find someone to fill in as assistant principal, until a decision is made to permanently fill the position.

He says he planned to talk with the secondary principal today about those duties. Earlier this month, Crozier announced two staff members would face disciplinary action for their roles in the so-called “strip-search,” but he wouldn’t elaborate on what type of action might be taken.

Contributed by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic