The sudden departure of a senior administrator at one of Beijing's leading international schools has sent shockwaves through the community. Parents of children at the International School of Beijing are angry over the school board's refusal to explain why school director John Johnson left his job just two weeks before the end of the school year and a few weeks after the departure of one of its principals. 'Parents want to know what happened, but the school is not saying anything,' said a worried American mother of three pupils. The failure to offer any explanation has led to a flurry of rumours about the reason for the departure. In a statement on April 19 naming high school principal Tom Hawkins as interim director, the board declined to offer any information about Mr Johnson's departure. 'As much as we empathise with some requests from the community to learn more of the details surrounding the events of the past week we ask you to understand and respect that all circumstances surrounding Mr Johnson's departure are confidential,' it said. 'Parents are really upset about this,' said one angry mother, who argued that board members had only pleaded the need for privacy when asked for an explanation. Elizabeth Katz, the school's communications director, told the South China Morning Post that the school 'does not comment on the employment of current or former employees'. The school in the Shunyi suburb of Beijing has 1,175 students from 52 countries.