Wood BOE to consider Young’s grievance

PARKERSBURG – Will an embattled Parkersburg High School teacher, his friends and family be able to convince Wood County school officials to renew his contract for next year?

Wood County Board of Education officials have two meetings set for tonight: a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. followed by a special meeting. The special meeting concerns the employment of Jesse Young, Parkersburg High School gym teacher. Young is one of three teachers whose contract was not renewed by school officials for next year.

The physical education teacher was suspended March 7 for an inappropriate Harlem Shake video. The video was filmed in class while students performed simulated sex acts.

At a meeting last month board members were poised to extend Young’s suspension. Instead, officials rescinded the proposed extension as more than a dozen speakers – primarily family members – lined up to speak out in support of Young.

Board members voted to reinstate Young to the classroom. According to Bob Harris, assistant superintendent of human resources, Young returned to the classroom today.

Harris said Young has the option to request either a public or private hearing before the board. Young is represented by attorney Joe McFarland.

Following the hearing board members will consider the recommended approval that Young’s name be placed on the list of probational employees to be rehired for the 2013-2014 year. Harris said the agenda item is worded as such to specifically address Young’s grievance. He said the item is needed so the board can make a decision.

“It’s the recommendation. It is up to the board members to approve that. This should not be an indication of giving in or that he’s going to rehired,” Harris added. “It is just on there for action.”

During its regular meeting, board members will also consider the recommended approval of the second bid package for the renovations at Parkersburg High’s Stadium Field.

At a special meeting last month, board members approved the demolition package to Mondo Building and Excavation for $216,900. Mondo’s bid was almost $75,000 lower than the next lowest bid.