Raleigh County BOE fires Woodrow coach - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Raleigh County BOE fires Woodrow coach over all alleged misconduct

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BECKLEY -
UPDATE:  

The Raleigh County Board of Education met on Wednesday with the intent of dealing with one teacher who was suspended after allegations of misconduct with students.  The investigation involved a teacher and coach with the Raleigh County School system.  His name is Mike "Chuck" Cooper.  Cooper is being accused of misconduct with a female student.  Details are limited right now about the investigation.

"Mr. Cooper you have been terminated," Board President Rick Snuffer said.  Finally, a decision came after Board Members sat down for close to 6 hours to determine what to do about the alleged misconduct allegations against Cooper. At 8:30 Wednesday morning the Board sat down to make this decision.  It wasn't until close to 2:00 that afternoon a final decision was made. Unanimously the board voted to uphold the superintendent's recommendation to fire Cooper after hours of witness and character testimony.

59News Reporter Lauren Hensley asked, "in all your years on the school board is this a pretty conventional amount of time?"

Board President Rick Snuffer said, "I've been with the Board for almost 11 years, but this is a very serious thing. We've terminated someone's career today someone who has given his a lot of his life to Raleigh County Schools. But at the end of the day mistakes were made and consequences occur because of that."

What exactly did Cooper allegedly do to deserve these consequences? The details of the alleged misconduct remain vague. What we do know is Cooper's allegedly was communication with a female student via text and letters.  This is the second time in less than a month a Raleigh County School teacher has been fired for their alleged text communications.

Lori Lester, a Trap Hill Middle School teacher accused of misconduct with a 13-year-old boy was fired in mid-June.  With two cases, we wanted to know what the Board's policy is for student, teacher texting.

"We have a policy, we do allow them to communicate electronically you can't because of freedom of speech say you can't talk to a student or text a student. But we do tell them it needs to be professional. It needs to be related to the class, so that's what we think wasn't done it is case," Snuffer said.

According to Rick Snuffer the board is reviewing all social media policies.  He said they are reinforcing this policy to all employees.

Cooper was a social studies teacher and wrestling coach at Woodrow Wilson High School.  He also just accepted a position as head football coach for Independence High School. Based on the Board's decision all positions will be forfeited.  Snuffer said Cooper began employment with the Raleigh County School District in 1997.

 

 
The Raleigh County Board of Education met on Wednesday with the intent of dealing with one teacher who was suspended after allegations of misconduct with students.

The investigation involved a teacher and coach with the Raleigh County School system.  His name is Mike "Chuck" Cooper.  Cooper is being accused of misconduct with a female student.  Details are limited right now about the investigation.

The meeting began at 8:30 Wednesday morning and Cooper asked for a closed meeting. All media and witnesses were asked to leave until the Board reaches a decision. Cooper and his lawyer are present as well as several witnesses to speak on behalf of Copper.  Stick with 59News for the late breaking details when a decision is reached.