Wood BOE OKs teacher’s suspension

PARKERSBURG-Members of the Wood County Board of Education voted 4-1 Tuesday to suspend a Parkersburg High School teacher.

The teacher, who’s only been identified by an employee number, was suspended during Tuesday’s two-hour meeting that included a 50-minute executive session. Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law declined to name the employee after the meeting. Law said the teacher would not by identified until after the minutes from Tuesday’s meeting were published this morning.

“I won’t divulge the name until such time as the minutes are printed,” he said.

Tuesday morning Law identified the employee as Amanda Terrell, the teacher involved in the “Bad Kid Fort” incident.

Beth Dean, whose son was at the center of the incident, spoke during the public comment period. Dean, citing an investigative audit report, said the idea to name the box the “bad kid fort” was the teacher’s decision.

“It was a student’s suggestion, but the name on it was her idea,” Dean said. Dean said once that happened she felt the incident rose to the level of bullying.

The employee was suspended without pay from Jan. 10-16. The board voted 4-1 to uphold the suspension. Board president Tim Yeater was the lone no vote and the only member to comment on the matter.

“All of our employees go to great lengths to serve the system,” he said. “Are they perfect? No. Do they make mistakes? Yes.

It’s a struggle when we look at disciplinary action … Unless there is malicious intent. I have to believe they make those decisions in the best interest of the student. My vote will reflect that.”

Board members also approved the hiring of Parkersburg South High School football coach Mike Eddy by a 4-1 vote. John Marlow was the lone no vote, but board member Tad Wilson raised some concern. Wilson went on record to say he was told Eddy would be hired before the job was posted. Marlow said in that light, the matter should be pulled and Law should look into it.

Wilson said he wasn’t saying he wanted it pulled.

“Since you are on record, it needs to be reviewed,” Marlow said. He made the motion to pull the matter, but it died for lack of a second.

At the end of the meeting Marlow clarified his remarks, stating he was not opposed to Eddy, but was concerned about a possible violation of state code in the hiring process.

The board also withdrew its recommended changes to the quorum policy.

In December, board members discussed changes to the board’s Policy 1120.2: “Rules and Regulations Governing the Wood County Board of Education and the Rules Governing the Conducting of Board Meetings,” to no longer require a physical quorum. That was in response to a November meeting that was postponed one day due to the lack of a physical quorum.

Board members said public perception and opinion on the idea have caused them to back away from the idea. Yeater said it was the wrong move to make.

Board member Lawrence Hasbargen said it was important to have a physical quorum present.

“When the community comes in here it is important we see them eyeball to eyeball. It is tough to do that electronically,” he said.