Board renews Bayles’ suspension

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education Tuesday directed the superintendent to take action on a personnel issue and extend the suspension of an assistant principal.

Early in the meeting, the board met in executive session to discuss “personnel matters/issues concerning specific professional administrative employee of the board.” The board also met in executive session on the item at its Nov. 14 meeting.

The board met behind closed doors for about half an hour Tuesday. No details were given when the board returned to open session, but board President Lawrence Hasbargen read a prepared statement directing Superintendent John Flint to take action by Dec. 5 on any personnel issue.

“Concerning the personnel matter discussed in executive session just now, I make a motion that the superintendent present any disciplinary charges to any affected employees no later than one calendar week from this date,” Hasbargen said. “Persons must be notified by then.”

The board approved the motion 5-0 without further discussion.

The board later voted 5-0 to renew the suspension-without-pay of Williamstown High School Assistant Principal Jeff Bayles. The board originally suspended Bayles Oct. 11, with the 30-day without-pay suspension beginning Oct. 4. Bayles was suspended by Flint with pay Aug. 25 due to a police investigation.

No details on the nature of the police investigation or the suspension have been made public.

“What’s the end game with this?” asked board member Jim Asbury.

Personnel Director and legal counsel Sean Francisco said two investigations wrapped up last week, but gave no additional details.

“My hope is by the next meeting you’ll have a more in-depth report,” he said.

State law allows for a superintendent to suspend an employee with pay without board approval. The without-pay suspension requires a school board vote and must be renewed every 30 days.

The board also voted 4-1 to suspend teacher Cynthia Pyles for two days, unpaid. The board went into executive session after discussion was requested by Asbury. The board met behind closed doors for about 25 minutes, and no discussion was held after the board returned to open session. Asbury was the lone vote against the suspension. The board did not give details as to the reason for the suspension, nor when the suspension would take place.