Kings Local to release depositions in teacher investigation

Kings School Board (file)
Kings School Board (file)

KINGS MILLS, OH (FOX19) - The Kings Local School Board has voted to release depositions that the district's lawyer took while an investigation was underway into the allegations against a teacher.

The vote was part of a settlement with COAST, who sued to get the depositions released.

Warren County's prosecutor says he didn't file charges against the teacher because he couldn't find evidence that any student suffered serious physical harm, but he did say he found the allegations disturbing.

The teacher is not longer in the district and was removed from the classroom at the onset of the investigation in January of 2012.

"Rather than face a costly and time-consuming law suit to protect the confidentiality of client-attorney privilege, the Kings Board has voted to release the depositions," district officials said in a statement. "We recognize that the COAST organization can make these records public. The district has taken every measure possible to remove any student's name and any personal information or condition that may identify a child. As a district we strive to be transparent with our community, but not at the expense of the privacy and safety of our students."

In addition to conducting the internal investigation and contacting the police department, the district filed a report with the Office of Professional Conduct.  After a 16-month investigation, the Ohio Department of Education has not taken action regarding the teacher's conduct.  The case is still under investigation.

"Although the allegations of the teacher's treatment of her students did not warrant legal action, the district discovered classroom practices that were in clear violation of our Board Policy. Some of the teacher's actions reflected poor decision making and are not reflective of our mission to provide a positive learning environment and build positive relationships with students.  The Kings administration and Board of Education do not condone how children were treated in this classroom and took action," the district's statement continued. "In March 2012, the teacher in question and the district reached an agreement concerning her resignation at the expiration of her employment contract. The teacher has not returned to the classroom since being placed on administrative leave at the beginning of the investigation in January 2012. We have met with parents of the children in her classroom and will be vigilant about the protection of our students' identities.  The children in this MH classroom have had a new teacher in their classroom for the past 16 months and we continue to ensure they have a safe, nurturing, and positive environment to learn and grow."

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