May 16, 2016

School Board accepts Turner resignation

By Jerry W. Kram

At a tumultuous meeting Monday, the Parshall School Board voted 3-2 to accept the resignation of business teacher Kevin Turner.

The vote was 3-2, with Michelle Billadeau, Jay Clauson and Stacey Roberts voting to accept the resignation and Billy Johnson and Clover Little Soldier voting against the motion.

Turner, who taught in Parshall for eight years, was suspended without pay by the board on February 24. He was accused of making inappropriate sexual remarks to students and a dismissal hearing had been scheduled for Monday.

Rachel Bruner-Kaufmann, the school district’s attorney, explained that under North Dakota state law, a teacher facing dismissal has the right to a hearing presided over by an administrative law judge appointed by the state. Turner requested a hearing and the school requested a judge be made available back in February. The earliest date the judge had open was May 9, so that was the date set for the hearing.

Bruner-Kaufmann also informed the board that the judge had ruled that the hearing would not be allowed to continue after 10 p.m. She explained that most hearings of this nature go on until one side or the other requests a continuance. She said that meant it could have taken as long as four weeks to complete the dismissal hearing. She also said that this was the first time she had heard of a judge placing a time limit on the length of a hearing. She said that could have been grounds for Turner to appeal the potential dismissal in court. She added that both she and Turner’s attorney both objected to the judge’s decision.


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