DIETRICH, Idaho -- The superintendent of the tiny Dietrich School District will step down from his position this summer.
The school board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Ben Hardcastle during a Feb. 28 board meeting. The district has opened its search for a new superintendent.
Hardcastle's last day as superintendent will be June 30, 2017. That date also marks the end of his contract, according to the district.
The resignation comes in the wake of a storm of controversy that has surrounded the school district and the town since a black, mentally disabled teenager was assaulted with a coat hanger in the Dietrich High School locker room in October 2015.
Two boys were charged as juveniles for their roles in the attack; a third, John R.K Howard, was sentenced last month to probation and community service.
The case has drawn outrage nationwide from those who believe the perpetrators were not adequately punished.
The victim's family has also filed a $10 million lawsuit against the school district, naming Hardcastle, the football coaches and other administrators specifically.
Hardcastle has not publicly said whether his departure is tied to the suit or the locker room incident. He told the Twin Falls Times News in a statement he was taking "an opportunity that is in the best interest of my family."
“I am extremely grateful to the community of Dietrich for the great trust that you have shown me in allowing me to serve the school district,” he wrote, according to the Times News.
Hardcastle could not immediately be reached for further comment.
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