Leave it to the local news station to blow this up into some Watergate-level cover-up, but I think this media treatment of a school theft case is great evidence for my argument that groups should address these issues openly (and obviously enact systems changes immediately) if there's a missing money issue.  This principal is far from alone in advocating a hush-hush treatment, but 1) these things almost always come out eventually (school communities aren't widely known for a lack of rumors); and 2) groups and schools get far more credit and have far fewer problems when the issues are addressed profesionally and openly.

The media may have covered the story anyway, but the headline would have been about the poor PTO as victim and the lout who stole the money.  Instead, the story focuses on the principal and paints an unflattering picture of the school.

Worth re-linking to our "Financial Best Practices for PTOs" to help the next group avoid this issue altogether. Also hope these guys have PTO insurance to cover this kind of loss.