POINT PLEASANT — At a recent meeting of the Mason County Board of Education (BOE), board members approved the suspension of a counselor, whose name was recently released with the meeting minutes.
Debra Cook, a counselor with Leon and Roosevelt Elementary Schools, was suspended without pay from Jan. 1 through Feb. 4, on grounds contained in a private letter to the Board from Superintendent Suzanne Dickens. Board members approved the suspension at a meeting on Feb. 12, with the minutes from this meeting being approved on Feb. 21.
As previously reported, Dickens noted that Cook’s offense was not violent, and students were not involved or in danger.
Also as previously reported, an open meetings advisory opinion from the West Virginia Ethics Commission Committee on Open Governmental Meetings states an employee’s offense can be withheld from the meeting agenda, but the name of the employee cannot once a disciplinary decision is made. According to another open meetings advisory opinion, the BOE does have the ability to not publicly release the employee’s name until the posting of the minutes on the BOE website, a process which normally takes around two to three weeks.
The Mason County Board of Education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. tonight, Feb. 26, at the Mason County Career Center.