REDMOND, Wash. - An elementary school principal’s public paranoid episode, which police believe was fueled by drugs, has landed him on administrative leave.
According to letters sent to parents in early May, Sunrise Elementary Principal Michael Griffin has been on administrative leave since May 9, following the discovery of a police report filed by Redmond Police.
On Wednesday, Griffin’s wife – a principal at Moorlands Elementary in Kenmore, another Northshore School District school, joined him on administrative leave.
A second letter to Moorlands parents explained: "Over this past weekend, Northshore School District became aware of statements made by Principal Meghan Griffin in a police report."
That statement likely references an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) obtained by FOX 13 News, where Meghan Griffin writes: "Our recreational drug use began about a year ago while on vacation," before explaining a twisting relationship between her husband and drugs.
Northshore School District has not returned emails or phone calls to FOX 13 regarding either principal.
During an opening meeting with the superintendent on June 1, a district spokesperson deflected questions to administrators about the principals’ suspensions.
"If the questions can be focused on the listen-and-learn tour, we’d appreciate that," said Carri Campbell. "That’s what this space is for at this time."
In a written forum, the parent, or teacher, had asked how they can restore trust that the school is safe for children.
Other parents reached out to FOX 13 with questions about a lack of information on what led to the two principals being placed on administrative leave. Some parents took to filing public records requests with Redmond Police uncovering details that the District had never shared.
"Northshore School District needs to address this with the parents immediately," said one frustrated parent, who declined to use his name since his child attends Sunrise Elementary. "I think there’s been a lack of communication between the school, the district and the parents. Frankly, we found out about a lot of this from other parents, not from the district."
That information was publicly available, because Redmond Police were involved in an incident in late-April at the QFC on 161st Ave. NE in Redmond.
According to documents from police, and the King County court, Michael Griffin had been acting erratic before coming into contact with police. He had a licensed, loaded handgun while making what police called "seemingly delusional statements."
"Corporal Downing noted Griffin’s dilated pupils, a white, powder-like substance on Griffin’s lip, and his seemingly delusional statements," a report attached to the ERPO reads.
In statements from Michael Griffin’s wife, and brother, police were told that the Sunrise principal was growing extremely paranoid. They write that he thought people were using devices to listen to him, that his wife was involved in sex trafficking, and that he was receiving coded messages.
On May 9, a judge granted the ERPO, which will keep him from having access to firearms for a full year. The same day, Sunrise Elementary parents were notified via email that he would be placed on leave.
Redmond Police tell FOX 13 that Griffin was involuntarily committed on the day of his interaction with police, noting: "he was detained without incident and transported to a local hospital."
Parents have banded together and are requesting more information from Northshore School District. A document has been spreading between parents of both Sunrise Elementary, and Moorlands Elementary, collecting signatures – demanding more transparency, and requesting a community forum on or before Wednesday, June 7.
"There is a lack of transparency and accountability between the district, school, parents and NSD residents," the document reads.
Parents have voiced concerns following the decision to place the Griffins on leave, ranging from the schools' "open campus", to a lack of cellphone reception at some places within Sunrise Elementary if an emergency were to happen.
Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction tells FOX 13 that they are aware of the situation within Northshore School District.
OSPI tells FOX 13 that they have student assistance programs for early alcohol and drug prevention. They also noted that the Washington Recovery Line (1-866-789-1511) and DSHS have important information when it comes to substance use treatment.
FOX 13 first reached out to Northshore School District before 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. As of the time of this publication, the district has not responded.