ATTICA, Ind. (WLFI) - A personnel move and a principal's Twitter account are drawing the attention and anger of a number of Attica parents.
Several tearful children were among the more than two dozen people who spoke up at Monday night's board meeting for the Attica Consolidated School Corporation. While school officials said they can't speak because it's a personnel matter, many at the meeting said they think it's a retaliatory move against the teacher who is also the union representative.
At the same time, the Twitter account of the principal of the same school (an account that uses profanity and what some call a slur) is also drawing attention.
One after one, speaker after speaker, told the Board Monday that they think Beth Bass is a terrific teacher.
"I really hope the board will take an objective evaluation," said one in the audience.
"It's something you need to reconsider," said another parent.
Beth's husband Bobby said Beth found out Friday that she was being moved from her 6th grade class in the elementary school to a position at the high school in an 8th grade classroom with alternative students.
"We were very devastated, just torn into pieces," said Sally Mullins, a student in the 6th grade class of Mrs. Bass.
Citing personnel reasons, Attica Superintendent Derek Marshall could say little, both at the meeting and to News 18 after.
"We had a personnel decision to be made and I made that decision as superintendent of schools," Marshall said.
But many at Monday's meeting spoke on behalf of Beth's character. Bobby, the former police chief, said he believes the district has been building a case against his wife so the district won't renew her contract.
"She had held that position for the union and as long as she was in the school she is a threat that they can't just do what they want with the teachers and she represents them," Bobby said.
Marshall said Beth serving as union representative had nothing to do with the transfer.
"I can answer that and that is absolutely not true," Marshall said.
Parents also brought up a second issue with the school board: a Twitter account from Attica Elementary School Principal Dusty Goodwin.
The Twitter account was a public one, but by Tuesday it had been changed to "protected" or private. One tweet called a person gay. Another tweet stated he failed in his attempt to "OD" his wife, calling her a lightweight. Several use profanity.
On the same day he tweeted about enjoying an elementary school play, he responded to someone else by stating a girl thought the pole on stage was a stripper pole, just like her mom.
When confronted by News 18 if he knew about that tweet in particular, he said, "No, I have no idea."
When asked to explain the gay tweet, Goodwin said, "That's my personal stuff and I don't think I need to explain it."
Marshall said the first he heard about the tweets was at Monday's meeting. He said he would investigate.
"I have no idea," he said. "This is the first I've ever seen it. I will gladly call you once I go through it."
The Attica School Board held a private executive session after the regular board meeting. They could not say if they would reconsider the decision to move Beth Bass.
Marshall said he was encouraged to see so many people stick up for a teacher.
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