Parents of students in the Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School area were more than concerned recently when it became known that a juvenile student at TVEMS had recently taken a knife a a JV football game.
According the Tucker County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Eddie Campbell, the incident happened during a JV football game on Oct. 14. Dr. Campbell could not comment further as to what happened because the details are related to a juvenile disciplinary incident.
Dr. Campbell explained the Board does not take any type of disciplinary action. The principal makes the decision about suspensions. The maximum suspension a principal can issue is 10 days. According to state policy if a student commits a level four offense the principal is required to make a recommendation to the superintendent. Campbell said, “At this point I am required by law to recommend to the school board that they should expel the student for committing the offense,” The school board’s options are to accept the superintendent’s recommendation or determine the offense was not committed and reject the superintendent’s recommendation.
Campbell said, “Anytime we are dealing with a juvenile situation it is handled in an executive secession unless the parents choose to have a hearing in open secession. The board’s decision remains in executive secession. When the board returns to open secession they will report the results anonymously to protect the privacy of the student.”
According to Dr. Campbell there were 107 students absent from Tucker Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Campbell said this was an extremely high number.
Dr. Campbell did make a recommendation to the board to expel a student and the board took action from there. “Dr Campbell said, “We are cooperation with the prosecutor, Ray LaMora and the Parsons Detachment of the West Virginia State Police to pursue criminal charges in the case. The final decision is up to the prosecutor to file criminal charges in the case.”
Campbell further stated “A similar but separate and unrelated incident, at Tucker County High School, was reported on Thursday, Oct. 31.”
Calls to Tucker County Board of Education members Marvin Parsons, Janet Preston and Jerry DiBacco resulted in no comment, board member Tim Turner made no comment, but said he was not at the meeting due to another commitment. Board member Jared Parsons was unable to be reached as of press time.