The Greenon Local Board of Education held an emergency meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 for the purpose of holding an executive session to discuss the superintendent’s recommendation concerning the employment of teacher Larry Yowler.
Over 20 parents and community residents attended the meeting hoping to speak on the record regarding Yowler’s employment. Board President Dennis Henry informed the audience that this was an “emergency meeting” and that there would be no open comment portion of the meeting to hear from the public. “We appreciate you all coming out to show support” said Henry to those in attendance. He informed them that there would be an opportunity for public comment at the regular meeting scheduled at 7:00 pm on Wednesday if they wished to return.
Prior to moving into executive session, Henry noted that the board would vote on the action item that appeared on the agenda.
The board held a closed door session with all members present and council for both Yowler and the school district. Yowler’s attorney left the meeting and the board spent approximately 90 minutes in discussion before allowing the audience to return.
The recommendation by the superintendent to place teacher Larry Yowler on unpaid suspension effective immediately and to begin termination proceedings regarding Yowler’s employment under Ohio Revised Code 3319.16 was tabled.
Board member Keith Culp made the motion to table the recommendation with a unanimous vote by the board members. Henry noted that the board was gathering additional details and thanked the parents by saying “this is a difficult issue” noting that no decision would be made at the February 14 meeting.
Yowler remains on administrative leave with pay until the board is prepared to call another meeting to discuss possible action.
Yowler is due to appear before Clark County Magistrate Ann Ringler related to a Civil Protection Order filed by Katie Blankenship. This is not a criminal case and is heard in Domestic Division of Clark County Common Pleas Court.
The Clark County Sheriff has been investigating charges of inappropriate behavior by Yowler with a student in his classroom but no information has been made available or charges filed.
A number of parents at the meeting did not wish to go on record, however they overwhelmingly supported Yowler noting that their children have been worried and asking when Mr. Yowler would be returning to his classroom. Some of the parents currently have children in the classroom while others had Yowler as a teacher in the past.
Parent Chris Miller stated that he was at the meeting to gather more information on what the district was planning. “I thought this would happen once something went through the courts” said Miller of the meeting. Most of the parents were unclear that this is the procedure that must be followed by ORC concerning the termination of a teacher allowing for the employee of the district to request a hearing with the board of education.
When asked what the parents gathered thought about Yowler, Miller stated “he is the best teacher my child ever had”. This sentiment was shared by many who attended the meeting as they waited in the hallway for a decision by the board.