A high school principal in Kirbyville, Texas, who took his own life last week was given an ultimatum to resign from his job or face an investigation.
According to local news reports, corroborated by Kirbyville police, Dennis Reeves met with Superintendent Tommy Wallis and Assistant Superintendent Georgia Sayers at Kirbyville High School last Tuesday. During the meeting, the school officials reportedly spoke to Reeves about non-criminal allegations against him, and gave him the option of handing in his resignation.
In a phone interview with Crime Online, Kirbyville Police Chief Paul Brister confirmed a report from local news station KFDM that the school officials in the meeting confronted Reeves with allegations before he died, though Chief Brister indicated he did not believe Reeves was given an ultimatum to resign or be fired. Rather, Brister said it was his understanding that Superintendent Wallis told Reeves he could resign or the school would investigate the accusations. Brister told Crime Online that Reeves was accused of having an affair with a school employee.
Brister said that the school officials gave police a written statement about the meeting, during which Reeves is said to have denied the allegations. They reportedly told him that if he were to continue on his position as principal, the school would investigate the allegations and he would be fired if the allegations were found to be true.
Reeves then offered his resignation and returned to his pickup truck in the school parking lot, where he shot himself in the head.
The statement, which will be published in full in a forthcoming press release from Kirbyville Police, appears to contradict Superintendent Wallis’s earlier claim that there was nothing out of the ordinary on Tuesday’s meeting agenda.
Wallis told the local newspaper The Eagle last week that he and his assistant superintendent asked “to visit with [Reeves] about a couple of things — summer school, staffing patterns, several things to discuss.”
Asked if he believed the most recent statement was accurate, given Wallis’s previous comments, Chief Brister said he believed the school officials were telling the truth.
In response to a question about Reeves’s apparent decision to take his own life, Brister concurred it appears to have been an extreme reaction to the non-criminal allegations.
“There’s no calling that back,” Brister said.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.