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Residents ask for board to resign

By Gus Pearcy

Community members continue to push for the resignation of the North West Hendricks School Board over its handling of a Tri-West High School teacher and coach recently arrested and charged with two counts of child seduction and a count of obstruction of justice.

At the first school board meeting since charges were filed and Tyler Bruce, 31, was arrested, members of the community expressed anger and outrage that he was not fired last year or at the February meeting. Four Hendricks County Sheriff’s deputies were present for the meeting again to maintain crowd control.
School attorney, Terry Kessinger, read Indiana code explaining why the board could not fire Bruce at last Tuesday night’s meeting.
“It can take approximately 45 days before the board makes a final decision,” Kessinger read from a prepared statement.

Deputies from the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department were present at the February meeting of the North West Hendricks School Board on Feb. 11. Members of the community expressed their dissatisfaction with board members handling of a teacher charged with child seduction of a local student. (Photo by Gus Pearcy)

The board conducted business including changing the title of the corporation business director to assistant superintendent after David Hobaugh passed the superintendent exam. Then several members of the community railed at members for their handling of the Bruce situation and the district’s transparency.

“He (Bruce) stopped the process,” Donna Petraits, spokeswoman for the corporation, said. “He is allowed due process. He had five days to either resign or request a meeting with the superintendent. He has done that. (A meeting with the superintendent) is scheduled.”

It was due process that kept the board from firing Bruce last summer when the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department announced its investigation. Instead, the board suspended him with pay.

Steve Terrell made a statement in favor of the board and said he understood the legalities the board faced in the matter.

The next scheduled meeting of the board is March 10.

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