Hampton-Dumont School Board hires principal after rescinding offer to local educator

HAMPTON — The Hampton-Dumont School Board has hired a band instructor from Mason City to be the principal for two elementary schools in the district — a decision that comes after the board reportedly pulled its job offer to an educator in the Hampton-Dumont district.

Jacob Swieter  of Hampton went on Facebook last month to say Leslie Pralle  Osborn would pursue a woke agenda as principal and he encouraged residents to lobby the school board not to hire her. Swieter cited a video Osborn recorded in 2020 about what she’s learned about from her biracial daughters.

Swieter  addressed the school board Monday night.  “I support everyone’s right to speak their mind and hold their own political values. Where I take issue is when I feel those views can be used to influence our children,” Swieter said. “I don’t want my children influenced by someone else’s beliefs any more than some of you would want your children to be influenced by mine.”

Several of Osborn’s supporters were at the meeting to criticize the board’s decision. Isaac Vosburg is a sophomore at the high school in Hampton.  “She would be the perfect fit for the job offered to her just one month ago,” Vosburg says. “This conclusion was also reached by the hiring committee…siding in favor of Mrs. Osborn over every other candidate. For this offer to have been stripped of her in what appears to be one parent’s objection to a video promoting inclusion and diversity is greatly disheartening.”

The school board voted Monday night to hire Beth Frenchick as the new elementary principal. She’s currently a 5th grade band teacher in Mason City and is a native of Hampton. Pralle Osborn, who has been an instructional coach in Hampton-Dumont schools, has accepted a different position within the district.