Franklin Regional officials disappointed in firing of guard
Franklin Regional officials are disappointed by a security company's decision to fire the security guard who was stabbed while helping stop the April 9 knife attack at the high school.
Assistant Superintendent Mary Catherine Reljac said the district had nothing to do with the firing of John Jay “Sarge” Resetar by Capital Asset Protection, which provides security services for the district.
“Our reaction was one of surprise and disappointment,” Reljac said. “We were surprised at the news as well as surprised and disappointed with the way that they ended it. What is the most difficult for us is that we were unaware of their approach with him. We did not realize they were ending his employment.”
Resetar, 70, of North Irwin, received a letter dated Aug. 4 from his Robinson-based employer informing him that he wasn't to return to work on Aug. 25, when classes began at Franklin Regional.
“Franklin Regional and Capital came to the conclusion that with the security changes that will be made going forward, it is best for the school and Capital to relieve you of your duties at the school, and we regret that your employment with Capital Asset Protection is therefore ending effective immediately,” the letter said. “Capital Asset Protection would like to wish you the best and thank you for your service with the company and all that you provided to the Franklin Regional School District, especially during the events of this past year.”
Resetar, who was branded a hero by some in the days after the attack, was among the first to confront sophomore Alex Hribal, the teen accused of using two knives to stab and slash fellow students in a school hallway, police said. Police said Hribal is accused of stabbing Resetar, who then helped high school officials subdue the teen.
Authorities accuse Hribal, 16, of bringing two 8-inch knives to the high school and injuring 20 students and Resetar.
Both Resetar and Dan Aloe, president and founder of Capital Asset Protection, declined comment.
Resetar had recovered from his wounds and was ready to return to work, his attorney, Timothy Dawson, said.
“He took a knife in the stomach,” Dawson said. “He's pretty upset, as am I. This is the way they treat him?”
Reljac said district officials first found out about his termination when contacted by Trib Total Media last week. School officials didn't receive a copy of the termination letter until Monday, three weeks after it was sent.
“We try very hard to treat people with dignity and respect,” Reljac said. “The way in which our vendor has handled it isn't the way we would have, for a person in the Franklin Regional family.”
Reljac said school officials regularly have met with Capital Asset Protection officials since the new administration team was put in place in fall 2013 to discuss district security needs. Among the changes district officials had discussed at their most recent meeting with Capital Asset were increasing security visibility in hallways, proactive supervision on campus and developing relationships with students. Reljac said there were other specifications given to the company that are private because of security needs.
Never did district officials say that Resetar wasn't to be part of that plan, she said.
Reljac said the district wishes Resetar the best and appreciates his service to the district. Officials are looking at all security options for next school year and haven't ruled out changing providers, Reljac said.
“All options are on the table,” she said. “Our goal right now is to try and find out as much information as we can and do our best to try to make sure that our students are taken care of.”
Daveen Rae Kurutz and Craig Smith are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Staff writer Renatta Signorini contributed to this report.