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Posted on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti High School principal placed on administrative leave pending investigation

By Danielle Arndt

Ypsilanti High School Principal Robert Belous was placed on administrative leave Tuesday to allow the district time to investigate various ongoing concerns.


Robert Belous

From Facebook

Director of Human Resources Sharon Irvine said the concerns are “not egregious” but rather involve a series of cumulative complaints, not a singular incident.

She said it was too soon to comment on the nature of the concerns, but said the district felt it was appropriate to look into them at this time.

Ypsilanti Public Schools hired Belous prior to the 2011-12 academic year at a salary of $99,412.33. That is a Step 6 on the Ypsilanti Principals and Administrators Association’s salary scale for high school principals, according to a letter in Belous’ personnel file, which was obtained by

Belous was hired to lead YHS through a redesign and various other reforms. He reported to the Board of Education on his progress in February and cited higher staff and student attendance rates and a decrease in student discipline referrals.

Personnel records obtained in August via a Freedom of Information Act request contained no documentation of complaints or disciplinary actions against Belous.

Prior to accepting the high school principal’s position at Ypsilanti schools, Belous was an educational consultant with APEX Learning. He also worked for Perry Public Schools where he received glowing reviews from parents, district board members and the superintendent, according to letters of recommendation found in his personnel file.

Irvine said while Belous is on leave, Ypsilanti New Tech Principal Cory McElmeel and YHS Assistant Principal Aaron Rose will be filling in and can address any questions or concerns that parents and students may have.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

"He also worked for Perry Public Schools where he received glowing reviews from parents, district board members and the superintendent, according to letters of recommendation found in his personnel file." What a joke. I guess his personnel file didn't contain the directives he signed that were written by Thrun Law Firm.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 9:21 p.m.

Snapshot, I think you just created the Grand Unification Theory of Conspiracy. This is a personnel issue between an employee and his employer. Both parties deserve to discuss the issue in private. And, for the record, the MEA was nowhere near the Grassy Knoll, the Masons do not run YPSD and Mr. Belous had nothing to do with the latest labor statistics.

Meredith Schindler

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 2:14 a.m.

Mr. Belous has done a great job as principal at YHS. I can't imagine what this suspension is about and, unfortunately, Ypsilanti Public Schools' leadership has left so much to be desired over the past many, many years that it's difficult to have faith in the action they have taken here. For parents to find out about the suspension via an online news source just exacerbates the problem. I am moved and heartened to see the responses by YHS students on this website. I hope to see Mr. Belous back soon, and/or a darn good accounting of what happened to lead to this drastic measure just a month into the school year.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 11:11 a.m.

I know nothing of this, except that I am proud of all the Ypsi student posters here. I only wish you all could vote in Nov. You all make us proud!


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

this secrecy just irrates the heck out of me. These unions have hogtied and eliminated transparency to the taxpayers. They scream and yell about transparency when outsourcing or consolidating services, they scream about quality, they scream about "promisies made" they scream whenever someone challenges any of their positions, and yet they hide behind the veil of secrecy they've managed to buy with their union influence on politicians. Now they want to amend the constitution to ensure their power is unchallenged. I want to know why someone on the public payroll hasd been suspended when he's dealing with our children for all you union protewctionists....That should be my right but you have and you have taken it from us taxpayers.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

sanpshot They (unions)want to make sure the public has no clue about what really happens in our school districts, that's why you have so many opposed to making sure they think having someone on the payroll at home is OK, instead of working someplace and being productive while investigation is going on?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

I'm blown away at 100k a year, he very well may be a great principal, he may not... but either way 100k? Those stuck in a class room with 30+ students (many acting up), expected to educate our children don't come close to that! Those that take an oath to protect & serve our community - saving lives, fighting fires, and keeping us safe in so many ways don't come close to that! Don't get me wrong, we all have to eat, pay bills, take care of families...I was born & raised in Ypsi, graduated from YHS and WCC, I'm still here... I think he needs to take a $30,000-$40,000 a year pay cut and put that money where it belongs, the future of our city! He would still be very well paid and be able to live a comfortable life!

Rob Thompson

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

It is nice to see all the supportive comments from Mr. Belous' students. Their opinion should not be taken lightly. On another note, this consolidation is sounding like quite a scandalous venture. If his removal was a political move to put the new tech principal there before consolidation, that really stinks! Why did the new tech principal negotiate a salary increase for himself and a decrease for his colleagues? That stinks as well. Ypsi administration doesn't smell well!


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

The possible depth of this likely political move if commented upon will cause a words war on here, but it will come out eventually.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

From this article, it does not sound like Belous DID anything. As a community member and parent of a YHS student, all I know is that he has been the best principal YHS has had since Mr. Brown left in 2010. Look at everything he has accomplished despite budget cuts. I am very disheartened and strongly considering removing my child from the YPS district.

greg, too

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

Something tells me you are not the only one. They are doing a bang-up job running students out of the district, with the merger only adding to this.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

People need to keep YHS out of their mouth. Seriously. If you don't work at or attend YHS, you have no clue what really goes on. The media should keep their nose out of our business. I'm at senior at YHS and we've had a different principal every year. I agree with Josie, Mr.Belous really made an effort to engage with us students. He was always smiling and had a great attitude. All you ignorant people need to leave this page before you comment and make a fool of yourself. YHS isn't all bad, it's ignorant people who focus on ONLY the negative aspects who judge us. On behalf of YHS, stop assuming and get your facts straight before you get involved. Please educate yourselves, before you talk negative about a community you know NOTHING about.!

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

I'm not picking on him. I'd like to know what that means.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Real nice Usual Suspects - Picking on the comment of a frustrated student. You Go Kim! read my comment @Josie

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

"People need to keep YHS out of their mouth." What?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

Okay, seriously. Belous is the fifth principal I've had in four years. I can't even name them all. One of them lasted two days, but Mr. Belous has been with us every day since the day he got hired. He cares about the students. One of our principals actually scared us into behaving, but Belous treats us with the respect that we deserve. We've been told he's on leave for paperwork violations, but nothing serious. Hopefully, Mr. Belous will be back in our family within a few weeks. For now, Mr. Rose is our Principal, alongside the New Tech Principal, which is fine for now.

Josie Boone

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Since I was a freshman, there have been more principals replaced at Ypsilanti High School than I can count on my hands. Now I am a senior, and looking back on them all they each had a positive and negative effect in our school. But none of them tried to reach out to students like Mr. Belous. Speculation have been thrown around. The official story we have been told is there was some issues with paperwork. He was an excellent principal. He did his job well, and went above and beyond to make sure his students were treated well. So before you attack Mr. Belous, please remember we are a family here at YHS, that he is a part of our family, and we will defend him as such.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Josie, you sound like a leader. How many students read and comment on this site? Probably not many. If you and other classmates feel Mr. Belous deserves defending, then there are many things you can do to support him. Have a "sit in" protest during lunch. Picket before and after school. Send letters to administration. Just don't do anything that will get you or others suspended as Mr. Belous wouldn't want that.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

How will y'all continue to judge the school as a whole, when ONE person messed up. Mr. Belous is no the whole school. The school is combined of teachers, supportive staff, and people in the community. One person does not make or break us. Just because you have one bad person in your family, it does not make the whole family bad!

greg, too

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Nor should "y'all" judge him by the people who post statements of defense for him while not being able to form a proper sentence or spell check.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

(Diamond) Never judge someone from what the public puts out to society.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

I'm unsure as to how these people can cast judgement on this subject when we don't know all of the facts. We know he went on leave, but we don't have confirmation as to why, we only have speculation. I don't think people can make a well informed decision on this subject without knowing all of the facts. We don't know everything that's going on so don't cast a bad light on the school for you not being fully informed of the details of this incident.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

(Albert) Why does he make that much??? But he's not doing his job.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

He does NOT make that much anymore. That is what he was hired in at but took a paycut prior to the 2012/2013 school year in addition to taking on more responsibility. Interestingly, the principal at New Tech, a smaller school with a selective student population, got a raise. How did THAT happen? Oh that's right, the New Tech principal negotiated the contracts.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

Out of the 5 principles we have had at the school since I've gone here, Mr. Belous has been the best of them all. I didn't even know the names of most of the others, but as soon as Belous came, he greeted everyone with a warm introduction. He always wanted what was best for the school, and everything he did was an improvement. Times have been tough, and without him, they will be even tougher. It looks like he probably wont be coming back, but whoever replaces him will not be able to fill his shoes. I just hope the district doesn't get any worse than it already is.

All-Around Athlete

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

It really good in the hood


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Why is everyone so eager to talk about the negatives surrounding YHS? The article clearly states that things are improving. Belous is a good principal, although there are things that he didn't take care of. However, he did move YHS in a new direction for the better. There are a lot of positives that YHS has, but no one sees it because they want YHS to stay down. It won't happen.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

I would really like to find out more about this asap curtains arent necessary

D-Dizzle H-Izzle

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

I've heard that it deals with paperwork (or lack there of). Any confirmation?

Jack Leonard

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

Rubbing the big dogs the wrong way


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

I would like to know how can claim to have thoroughly searched for information, even invoking the FOIA, and yet got their picture from facebook. This is lazy reporting and I would like to know if the information that they received from the district was even looked at, or just tossed in the garbage because the author would rather search Mr. Belous's facebook wall for "documentation."


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

big words bro you are too smart dude atta boy big T!!!!!!!!!


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Don't judge this man until all the facts are in.

music to my ear

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.


Ypsilanti Student

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

I agree

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

The photo "credit" says,"From Facebook." So you can just copy a photo from another Website and use it?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

This is the kind of information that uses to write its stories. Does it surprise you that they had trouble finding real information, even with a FOIA invocation?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 7:22 a.m.

There are reports floating around that this is very political and has to do with the pending merger with Willow Run Schools.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Please provide sources


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

Sick sick this has been going on since August? Or did just get his records on a whim? Funny how the article was released AFTER COUNT DAY....sad that A2 doesn't realize that the word is on the street. Pull your kids now....there are other options.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

I stated nothing about Mr. Belous performance in his position. I did hint at YPSD's long track record of setting staff up for failure. Even Jon Brown, who was lauded for his success in turning the school around and made immense improvements in the school climate, was thrown under the bus by YPSD's central administration and school board. And these jokers are trying to sell a merger of two failing districts? What a joke. Send your kids to Ypsi LIncoln or the new National Heritage Academy that opened just north of Ypsi Lincoln's campus, or venture even further to Milan. They're not perfect, but a far better option.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

Your argument doesn't make sense. Mr. Belous has been here almost every day and has been a great principal. We learned about this incident the same day that did, which was yesterday. You mention that there are other options, but take it from a student who went to Willow Run and attends Ypsi High School now: it's not that bad. Progress in this district has been evident, and Mr. Belous has been with us through it all.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

With's poor track record regarding the acquiring and analyzing of information, I would not be surprised if the news agency, infamous for inaccuracies and bias, simply failed to find what the School Board was citing as small complaints.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:22 a.m.

Hmmm....loses his job and no evidence? Fully expect Rev Jackson and Al Sharpton to show up shortly. Oh, wait,....


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:59 a.m.

Why did make a FOIA request for personnel records in August? Was it all personnel records or just Belous' records? Was trying to confirm rumors or just background data collection?

Jack Leonard

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.

FOIA came up empty in August? Sounds like they are hiding something. Have a friend who works in district. I heard their were reports of very unprofessional comments against staff and students. Supposedly problems were ongoing over a year, since he got there. So Sad to see, Willow Run steer clear of this mess


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

Public Sector employees are easy to attack. Sitting Ducks. In the Private Sector an employee in a Leadership Position would not have to suffer public humiliation, something for college students pursuing a Public Administration degree to consider. The outcome cannot be predicted from the information currently (4 Oct 12) supplied; it may be as simple as a few disgruntled parents complaining, or it may be profound. My hunch is in favor of Bob Belous.

Basic Bob

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

When public administrators are put out they collect huge buyouts.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : midnight

"Personnel records obtained in August via a Freedom of Information Act request contained no documentation of complaints or disciplinary actions against Belous." So got wind of the investigation and leave (which I'm assuming is PAID), and yet the PAID FOR FOIA turned up NOTHING? paid the FOIA charge and sees nothing on the books? That seems odd. Are people placed on leave for an official investigation with NOTHING on the books at all? What scenario would explain that?


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

No other documentation of complaints. That's funny. Wonder why he left Perry? Weren't there some directives written by Thrun Law Firm requiring him to not make certain types of statements?


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

Based on the other comments, I now gather that rumors and complaints predate both the investigation and the FOIA.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

The FOIA request predates the investigation and leave.

Jack Leonard

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:36 a.m.

sounds like cover up to me....


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

you are raising some good questions here.

music to my ear

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

maybe saying inappropriate things to parents. like make your kid mind. make your kid do their homework yea stuff like that.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

That is exactly what it is. How dare a principal expect parents to do their jobs and raise their kids right? The nerve of him. I'm assuming people will understand my sarcasm.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

No specific single incident, just a litany of complaints. Maybe he is actually making employees do their jobs, or making parents responsible for raising their children. Let's not start the bonfire around the stake until we hear the facts.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.



Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Why can't he continue to perform his duties as required, I would think he could be more productive even if he has to perform other indicative duties like shuffle papers, help out at the crosswalks for the kids, be a parking monitor or something productive. "Oh" I forgot he is a principal heaven forbid.

Basic Bob

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Make him stay in his office and work, or put him in the special assignment room like they do at Balas.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

c'mon, throw us a bone here...

Adrick Haas

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Us here at the school haven't gotten any information either. Mr. Rose went around and told all the classes that Belous was on leave but that's it. Some people were saying something about Belous being in trouble for not doing paperwork (which I found believable, I gave his secretary a letter and, a week later, he still hadn't gotten to it). A2 currently knows more than pretty much everyone at the high school right now.

music to my ear

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

old mother Hubbard is not back from her cupboard. we will let you know .


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

That my dear is all the bone you are going to get. I heard he is not a popular principal and this is the well, pay back time. He is a good principal just not popular with some folk.

Bridgit Johnson

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

Exactly! Broke district pays principal while he sits at home for two weeks? Wasn't there anything else you could have him do for two weeks pay? Fill in as a para-educator? Clean classrooms - it is filthy at the high school? Cook? Drive a bus? Anything for that 99K? And, if there were no concerns in his file a month ago, will the broke district now have to pay out his contract? Probably. He will get his due process. Another debacle in the Ypsilanti District. And, they want to drag Willow Run into their mess come November.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

The weather was nice and he probably got in a few extra rounds of golf and got caught up on those honey dues. For some reason the left seems that having him sit in a room someplace other than where he worked is cruel and inhuman, yet he can goof off on our tax dollars.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

Whoaaa there.! You do know this article is about the YHS principal, not the district as a whole and not Willow Run. So take your nonsense elsewhere, thanks.!


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

All of your points are invalid, He cant be anywhere near the school during the investigation so there is no way he can fill in anywhere. I know Mr Belous personally, he has done so much for this school and the students in it. Before you go throwing out accusations consider how well you know him because from everything i have seen from him he is no freeloader and he deserves every cent of his salary.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Get real, Bridg. Thanks for the actual intelligent comments Chance, Alexis, and Lavonte.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

obviously you don't know about Ypsilanti High school, and you don't know the situation here. You don't know Robert Belous and the situation that is going on now. maybe get your facts strait before you insult something you know nothing about.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

atta boy Lavante go hard bro thats my boy going hard he is on the basketball team too get at him!!!!

All-Around Athlete

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

So let me get this straight. Combining a huge school with so little students in willow run with a school that has multiple empty class rooms in Ypsilanti High in order to save money and cut costs for the budget is not a good idea? Secondly , The student that come out of ypsilanti grow to be more succesful than and other district in this area simply due to the fact of the tolerance and diversity that we as students deal with every day.And my last point is that since ypsilanti is on the same academic focus list as the ann arbor schools and for the last few years we have dominated the athletics how can you find any ann arbor school any better.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

go ham alexis!!!!!


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Your comment is so wrong. When someone goes on leave they still get paid and no one said he wouldn't come back and if he's under investigation he can't do anything but wait regardless of the concerns a month ago or today he would've been paid through his contract regardless because it's a contract it can't be broken and if you haven't been here please don't comment because you don't know what you are talking about he helped turn this school around and Willow Run is if not more of "mess" every school at this point has debt just some more than others the consolidation was for both to benefit if you are not from here, if you don't go here, if you don't have children from here please learn your facts before you judge the school, the district, and it's students


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

and guess what you don't know us we are on the same focus list as Pioneer and Huron so if anything they are in a bigger mess than us. Ypsilanti has so much diversity too the students that come out of here will be successful. And get at us at basketball


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

get your facts straight Willow Run cant continue to pay for that huge school with so few students so they almost have to join with us to not run out of money.

music to my ear

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

yea, like grade papers at home to free up the busy teachers.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

And he's still on the payroll? Nice.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

The "hang 'em high"-ers are at it again. If you even accused of anything on Ann you're instantly guilty and should be hanged in the public square with no protection. Boy is this site becoming "the seat of the scornful". It makes me wonder about the claims that Washtenaw county has a highly educated population!


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Why wouldn't he get paid... There's a investigation going on. Doesn't mean he's guilty or not!


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Boy there are a lot of negative votes on this one. So let me make this perfectly clear to all who have no clue as to what goes on inside a school system. ALL educators, administrators and anyone I am forgetting have a union MEA contract. A principal is a teacher of sorts. So yes, this guy is union, this is MEA and this guy is being protected until the outcome. Which I hope the perpetrators who came up with this hoax are found. Nice principal too bad this had to happen.


Fri, Oct 5, 2012 : 3:48 a.m.

@Matt, But I don't have any workplace protections or benefits so noone else should either!

Matt Cooper

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

So, you would suspend him without pay, and risk a huge lawsuit, knowing full well that he hasn't been proven to have done a thing wrong...without any sort of judicial process? I mean, shouldn't we at least have an investigation first? You know, collect evidence before taking away someones paycheck? No. That might make too much sense.

Carli Pacheco

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

@YpsiGirl4Ever - Principal's have a union contract also.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

The suspended Principal of YHS was a ADMINISTRATOR. Or in other words, he was not a unionized employee. Know of what you speak, since this one was easy by his title of Principal.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

It is union rules. Paid administration leave until you are found guilty or not guilty. Happens with all levels of administration down to transportation.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

I've always wanted to get me one of those jobs that allow you a high paying leave of absence if you screw up!


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

So I'm guessing something happened?

John of Saline

Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Schroedinger's incident.


Thu, Oct 4, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Or it didn't.