EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. - A week after being placed on administrative leave, a popular Catholic school principal is officially leaving the parish.
Word came in from Queen of Martyrs Parish that Jacob "Doc" Mathius declined an offer to be reinstated.
This all stems from Mathius's decision to make masking optional at the school without say-so from the Archdiocese.
"I don't know where we're going to go from here. My wife and I are heartbroken. It's a very emotional time," said Andrew Tourville, who has a 6-year-old daughter in kindergarten at Queen of Martyrs.
The Tourvilles are among dozens of families who had been fighting for Mathius to keep his job as principal.
In a letter breaking the news to school families, Pastor Martin Marren wrote that Mathius "declined" an offer to be reinstated and refused to abide by "fair and reasonable steps that would repair the breach his actions created."
"It's catastrophic. Doc is a leader, he's a caring man, he's a very intelligent man," Tourville said.
But in Mathius's own letter to families, he wrote that the parish's terms "were authored in such a way that virtually no one COULD accept such terms."
Neither side specified the nature of those terms and conditions.
"I think we're going to have to sit down and have a discussion if we're even going to keep our daughter at that school," said Tourville.
In his letter, Marren wrote that he's "confident" the parish can move past this situation, and that the parish is "bigger than one individual."