Stinson Admits To School Board He Drove While Drunk
Don Stinson, superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township, made no excuses as he addressed the school board Tuesday night concerning his DUI arrest over the weekend.
Board members are considering sanctions against Stinson, 60, who admitted to 6News on Monday that he’d been arrested while driving on State Road 267 in Plainfield after visiting a bar.
“I made a decision to drink Saturday night, and it was over the limit, and the police had a right to do what they did,” Stinson told the board. “I tested a 0.12, with 0.08 being the legal limit. This is a terrible error of judgment on my part.”
Just one person in the audience stood up to speak during the public comment period. John Barnes didn’t mention Stinson’s drunken driving arrest but spoke in support of the superintendent’s overall record as leader of the 6,600-student district.
“I support him and what he’s done in the community,” Barnes told 6News’ Rick Hightower after the meeting.
Penny Brown, a parent of a former Decatur student, had quite a different opinion when asked what should happen to the superintendent.
“I think he needs to lose his job. He’s not setting a very good example for the kids,” Brown said. “He’s an authority figure, and he needs to set an example, and he did not do a very good job.”
“We do have to hold him to a higher standard than most people because he is a peer leader for all the office,” said Cathy Wiseman, school board president.
Wiseman said board members will impose discipline after meeting in an executive session, but she admitted that there are no plans to suspend or fire Stinson.
“I don’t think they’re viable options. I do know that rehab is a viable option,” she said.
Wiseman said the board is also likely to ask Stinson to meet with students in a forum to discuss the DUI incident, allowing students to ask questions about it.
Stinson said that if he’s allowed to keep his job, he’ll do his best to overcome the “obstacle,” as he called it.
“I’ve made a horrific mistake, no doubt about it, and I’m admitting it 110 percent,” he said. “I’m not hiding behind anything, nothing; I did it.”
Stinson is expected to appear in court to face the DUI charge later this month.
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