BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) — Two Berkeley Heights Elementary School teacher aides who resigned after they were accused of verbal abuse of students inside a special education classroom are asking for their jobs back.
Teacher aides Kristin Douty and June Yurish claim that a public meeting held by the Board of Education on February 14 to accept their resignations was unlawful.
“They held a meeting, which is required to be open to the public, closed the meeting for executive session then they let certain members of the public into their supposed executive session which under the definition in the code, destroyed the executive session,” said Attorney Christian Riddell.
Douty and Yurish are now heading to court to in hopes they will dismiss all actions taken by the board.
Riddell said if his clients would have known how the board was going to run their meeting, they would have never resigned. Court documents show the women would have fought the board’s decision.
“This was not arranged. This was not expected,” said Riddell. “It essentially deprived them of what they thought would be the benefit of resigning.”
A statement provided by Berkeley County Schools states: “the Board was not aware of the filing until today [Monday], has not been served, and has no comment on the proceedings, as advised by counsel.”
Riddell confirmed the petition has not yet been served upon the Board of Education, which was intended to be done this week.
“If we get our way here and the decision is annulled, the teachers would go back on administrative leave and be subject to the termination proceedings that were already expected and intended,” said Riddell.
Yurish and Douty are also requesting compensation for attorney fees and other expenses.
Riddell adds, they will contest any and all allegations of abuse.