‘Bad Kid Fort’ teacher to be rehired

PARKERSBURG – Members of the Wood County Board of Education voted unanimously to rehire the Parkersburg High School teacher accused of bullying an Autistic student.

Amanda Terrell, who made international news, as the teacher involved in the “Bad Kid Fort,” was approved to be rehired by the Wood County Board of Education Tuesday following a 40-minute executive session.

Board President Tim Yeater was absent.

Board member Tad Wilson said Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law made the recommendation to put Terrell back on the rehire list for next year.

“I thought it was the right decision,” Wilson said.

Law said there was an executive session at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.

“Coming out of that, the board voted to put her back on the list of teachers to receive contracts,” he said.

Beth Dean, the mother of the child involved, said the “Bad Kid Fort” incident rose to the level of bullying. Dean went so far as to contact the state Department of Health and Human Resources and Child Protective Services concerning the incident. No charges were filed.

Wilson said the board held what amounted to a public hearing on the matter (referring to the Jan. 23 meeting). And Terrell was given a five-day suspension without pay as a result of the incident.

She was also one of three teachers initially slated not to be rehired for next year by the school system.

Last week the board voted to rehire Jesse Young, the Parkersburg High gym teacher involved in filming an in-class Harlem Shake video featuring students involved in inappropriate dance. Young also appeared in the video, taking off his pants to reveal a pair of (his wife’s) hot pink spankies.

Tuesday, the board added Terrell to the rehire list.

The local news media, which normally receives an agenda several days in advance of the meeting, did not.

Board officials said there was a miscommunication in sending out the agenda. School board officials said the person who normally sends out the agenda was out sick and the replacement failed to do so.

Law said the failure to send out the agenda was unintentional.

“The second and fourth Tuesdays are almost always going to be a meeting,” he said.

Board members had a meeting last week, Law noted that was a special meeting to deal with Young. Members had a meeting minutes prior to the Young hearing regarding the PHS Stadium Field bid. In April the board held meetings on the ninth, 16th, 19th (a Friday) and Monday the 22nd.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Board of Education website home page listed meetings for April.

Beth Dean, whose son was the victim of the “Fort” incident, was also unaware of a meeting Tuesday. Dean – and the media – was aware of Terrrell’s grievance hearing set for May 21. Because Terrell was rehired Tuesday, the hearing has been cancelled.

Wilson said Terrell was endorsed by the administration at PHS as well as the teacher’s union.

Terrell was endorsed as “good quality teacher,” he said.

Wilson also said Law indicated to the board Terrell should be rehired.

“I agree the punishment was handled and we should give her the opportunity to teach at Parkersburg High,” Wilson said.

Law said the circumstances involving Young and Terrell warranted another chance. Law said the principal indicated a good job from both teachers from those points forward without any repeat problems.

“With that, and the result of the earlier meeting (on Young) I didn’t feel it was proper not to renew their contract,” Law said.

The superintendent said the third, unidentified Parkersburg High School teacher, will not be rehired by the school system.