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Parents Raise Issue At Recent Board Meeting

February 12, 2014
BY LAUREN MATTHEWS - Staff Writer ( , Wetzel Chronicle

Two concerned parents approached the Wetzel County Board of Education Feb. 4 in regards to alleged inappropriate conduct from Valley High School's girls basketball coach.

The first parent stated that the basketball coach had urinated in the locker room while it was occupied by the girls. He added that he had talked to both Wetzel County's Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught, as well as the Department of Health and Human Resources.

The second speaker stated that this was not the first incident from the coach, as he "has a history of doing things that aren't appropriate, that are immoral."

"I believe he doesn't belong around girls," the parent stated. "if he wants to coach boys, he can . . . He's too immature and too irresponsible."

"There are other things that may not apply here, but it shows how immature he is," the parent said. "I'm very concerned . . . And when he finds out that we are here, kids aren't going to get to play. He's that young and immature. He's going to take it out on the kids."

"Coaches need to be role models," the parent said. "You guys are role models. Teachers are role models . . . I believe you are taking this seriously. I think he needs to be remitted, the sooner the better."

"It was brought to our attention at a former meeting," Board President Mike Blair stated. He added that the findings from the investigation would be brought forth to the board soon.

"If this comes out to be, and you guys are convinced . . . is that going to be enough to remove him?" the parent asked.

Blair stated that the board itself wouldn't work under the direction of the investigation, that they have an attorney.

The first speaker added that his daughter had not been questioned yet.

In another matter, Wetzel County Superintendent Dennis Albright advised that he needed a board member volunteer to vote on January's nominations for Employees of the Month.

Also, Albright stated that he had had the opportunity to watch Paden City High School students perform in their school play, "Once Upon a Mattress" and found the performance to be "Outstanding." He added that he had just "finished penning a thank you note to send to Mr. (Principal Jay) Salva."

Albright also stated that in case board members receive any calls, the board does have a policy that on cancelled days they sometimes allow games and practices to take place. Albright advised that the decision is made among himself, school administrators, and coaches.

Board President Mike Blair advised the board that evening that he felt the monies "we have had generated through the county and oil and gas business . . . I think it's time we look at spending it in the direction that benefits kids . . . such as cyber learning, iPads . . . How much does it cost to put iPads in the fifth through 12th grades?"

Board member Carolyn Gatian mentioned that parents she works with advised her that they "really loved" that homework was assigned for students on snow days through Ed Line.

Tammy Wells, director of Secondary and Vocational Education, confirmed that Paden City High School students had snow packets with assignments, as did New Martinsville School. She added that Magnolia High School students had an essay to complete on snow days.

"I had a couple of parents who asked if on those days when staff has to report, can their kids come in and work one on one with the teacher in the classroom?" asked Board member Gatian.

Albright stated that he did not see a problem with it, as he figured the teacher and parent could work something out.

Wells agreed, but added that she would advise that the parent call first, just because the teachers are usually involved in professional development sessions on snow days.



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