A junior high school principal in the town where a well-liked high school principal died of an apparent suicide last week has resigned from his job.
According to Fox 4 Beaumont, Kirbyville Junior High School principal Eric Cormier has resigned from his position to take a job as a principal in another school district.
Cormier told the news station his decision was not related to the controversy surrounding Dennis Reeves’s death.
Last week, Reeves was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head in the parking lot of Kirbyville High School. He had offered his resignation within the hour before, during a meeting with the school district superintendent and assistant superintendent.
The circumstances of Reeves’s death have come under intense scrutiny. Superintendent Tommy Wallis and Assistant Superintendent Georgia Sayers wrote in statements to police that Reeves offered his resignation after school officials confronted him about an alleged affair with his former secretary.
On Wednesday, the former superintendent told a local news station that he was shocked the affair rumors had resurfaced, saying that both he and Sayers had been aware of the rumors back in 2015 and had questioned Reeves and his then-secretary about it.
That former superintendent said that both Reeves and his secretary vehemently denied the affair, and that school officials never found anything to substantiate the rumors.
On Tuesday, a week after Reeves died, Lt. Colonel Charles Simmons abruptly resigned. Unlike Cormier, Lt. Simmons made it abundantly clear in his resignation letter that his departure was directly related to Reeves’s death. The letter read, in part:
“I don’t have a job waiting for me. I’m not sure where I will end up, but I do know that if I were to stay under the present circumstances it would compromise my integrity and it would not be loyal to Dennis. For me to keep silent would also be disloyal to our school and our entire district. It’s not what I want to do … it’s right vs. wrong.”
As KFDM reported, a group by the name of “Justice for Reeves” launched an online petition to have Wallis removed as superintendent. The petition statement reads:
Kirbyville CISD Superintendent, Thomas Wallis, has not behaved in a manner that represents the core values and beliefs of the City of Kirbyville and Kirbyville CISD. His unprofessionalism not only provoked the tragic event that took place regarding Kirbyville High School principal, Dennis Reeves, but has been dishonest, callus, negligent, and has caused additional grief and fear for the community. The community of Kirbyville is asking the superintendent to resign, or for the Kirbyville CISD Board of Trustees to remove him from his position in the school district.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.