OLD FORT - During an Old Fort Local Board of Education meeting Monday evening, a district resident spoke out in support of an administrator who was suspended without pay Feb. 27.
After the board spent 20 minutes in executive session, Anna Alexander described Tom Weaver, principal of grades 7-12 and athletic director, as a wonderful person and decent man.
An educator misconduct reporting form accuses Weaver of witnessing a dangerous act of "body surfing" during a volleyball match at the high school Sept. 27 and states he did not do anything to prevent it from continuing throughout the match. It says "body surfing" involves a student being passed up and down the bleachers in the air by other students.
Weaver's written response states he recalled three incidents of "body surfing" that each lasted less than 15 seconds.
"At the beginning of each incident I began to walk toward the student section, shaking my head 'no' but each incident ended very soon after it began," it states. "In the past, the rapport I've had with student cheering sections has permitted this type of student management."
Alexander said Weaver did do something about the surfing at the game.
"Those kids could be held accountable," she said.
Alexander said she was disappointed with how the situation had played out.
"(It) doesn't make us seem like decent people," she said.
According to a board resolution, termination of Weaver's contract is being considered for reasons including failing to address and report inappropriate behaviors involving a staff member and students; violating student confidentiality required by law by disclosing confidential student information without parental consent; repeatedly failing to provide appropriate supervision of personnel under his control; and repeatedly violating a state board of education code of conduct for educators.
After the meeting, Jude Meyers, superintendent and interim athletic director, said Weaver requested a hearing with a referee. Both sides are to share evidence and call witnesses during the hearing, which tentatively is scheduled for March 30 at North Central Ohio Educational Service Center.
Ohio Department of Education will provide Weaver a list of three names for potential referees, and he will get to select one, Meyers said.
"We can agree or disagree with the pick," he said.
If the district disagrees with the selection, the state superintendent would appoint one at his discretion, Meyers said.
In other business, the board got a look at the district's newly designed webpage at www.oldfortschools.org.
The board accepted the resignation of Shari Bachelder, the district's technology coordinator, Feb. 25.
According to an educator misconduct reporting form for Bachelder, she violated an action plan she had been on since April 26, 2011. The form accuses her of misusing school technology during school hours and outside of the classroom to conduct an "inappropriate affair of a sexually explicit nature."
Kathleen Mohr, director of technology and professional development for NCOESC, is assisting the district on an interim basis. She is a resident of the district, Meyers said.
"Kathy did that (website) over a weekend from home," he said.
In other business, the board:
Heard from Meyers that administrators from the nine remaining Midland Athletic League schools are to meet today in Tiffin to discuss the future of the league. As of Monday, there had been no one to take the place of Carey Exempted Village School District, Mohawk Local School District and Seneca East Local School District.
Heard about special education instruction.
Appointed the treasurer as the designee for public records law training.
Approved the graduation roster.
Approved a course of study booklet.
Approved an overnight trip for the FFA chapter.
Accepted the resignations for retirement purposes of Jean Steyer, sixth-grade teacher; Pamela Young, Title I teacher; Karen Beleny, music teacher; and Lynda Hotz, first-grade teacher.
Authorized the superintendent to enter into a contract with Fremont Memorial Hospital.
Approved a service agreement with Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Approved a temporary employment contract.
Heard board member reports.
The next meeting was changed from April 9 to 6 p.m. April 16.