PARKERSBURG - Wood County Board of Education members say they will make no changes to the district's nepotism policy until it comes up for review in September.
In the meantime, members said they would not apply the policy to coaching positions, a practice they say was not in the original intent of the policy.
The nepotism policy was a topic of discussion at Tuesday's board meeting, but board members agreed to hold off on modifying the policy until its scheduled review period on Sept. 13, 2013. The policy was adopted in 2009, but recent questions have raised concerns the policy is not being applied consistently.
Specifically, the school board had asked whether the policy was intended to prevent spouses or relatives from working as assistant coaches under a related head coach. School administrators said if the policy was enforced in those instances, filling positions for some sports, especially at the elementary and middle school level, would be almost impossible.
Board members Tuesday agreed the intent of the policy when it was drafted was to prevent situations in which a principal hires a relative to work at their school and is responsible for that person's direct supervision.
Members stopped short of immediately adding language to the policy that would exempt coaching positions, but said the policy should not be enforced in those situations.
"I think trying to implement something that we've already violated at this point is wrong," said board member John Marlow.
"It is up for review in September," said board member Lawrence Hasbargen. "It would give us an opportunity to review it as it applies to lay coaches."
Board member Jim Fox said he believed coaches were not part of "the original spirit and intent of the policy," but added "I think that needs to be addressed."
Board member Tad Wilson said he spoke with representatives from the Wood County chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, which was actively involved in creating the policy in 2009.
"They would like to see the nepotism policy enforced and see coaches included," he said.
Yeater said he believed the board could wait until September to decide whether an exemption for coaches would be added, but said he believed it was important for the board to have a clear policy in place.
"We need to have those guidelines out there," he said.