Wood BOE to hear Erickson pitch

PARKERSBURG -Officials representing the Erickson All-Sports Facility Foundation will make a presentation today at the Wood County Board of Education meeting, outlining needs for southside athletic facilities. Erickson officials are expected to renew their request for $500,000 for athletic facilities improvements there.

The school board meets at 6:30 p.m. The meeting has been moved from the board office to the adjacent Jefferson Elementary Center auditorium.

Dozens of Parkersburg South High School supporters are expected to attend. The Erickson presentation is slated to be followed by an executive session on a personnel matter.

The board had a similar agenda when the Stadium Field issues came before the board. Board President Tim Yeater said officials may juggle the agenda, moving the executive session to the end of the meeting.

“If that is the case, we will alter the agenda and move the executive session to accommodate folks,” he said.

Board members have spent a lot of time on issues related to coaching hires, athletic budgets and facilities. Yeater said athletics has been a hot issue with the board, but it needs to get back to education.

“When it comes to what money we are spending on education, it is a bigger issue to me when a student wants to go into a vocational class or foreign language and we can’t get them in because we don’t have enough room,” he said. “It’s a lot bigger issue than whether we have turf or a track.”

Officials will also consider the recommended approval of the suspension of a Parkersburg High School teacher. The teacher has not been identified but could be the educator involved in the Harlem Shake video filmed at Parkersburg High School a few weeks ago.

The video contains some alleged inappropriate content and allegedly features a teacher.

In addition to considering the suspension, the board is slated to go into executive session regarding a personnel matter. School system officials declined to say if the agenda items were tied to the video incident or if the employee was the teacher in question.

Bob Harris, assistant superintendent of pupil and personnel services, said once action is taken by the board the employee’s name appears in the meeting minutes.

Yeater said the issue has been big news in the media, but it’s not something that needs to be addressed by the board.

“All I am saying is we have people at that level to make the decision. Making the decision is not a board issue,” he said. “What a teacher does in the classroom is ultimately our responsibility, but every time a teacher does something I don’t want a principal calling us and asking us what we want to do.”