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Home / Articles / News / Local NEWS /  State school board to vote on Alex teacher’s license
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Sunday, July 7,2013

State school board to vote on Alex teacher’s license

By Fred Kight
Sam_Booth1

Photo Caption: In this file photo, Alexander High School teacher Sam Booth, left, and his attorney attend an April 9 hearing in Columbus on accusations leveled against Booth by three female students.

The State Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday on a recommendation to suspend the teaching license of Alexander High School teacher Samuel Booth.

Booth was accused of inappropriately touching two female students in October 2011 and has been on paid leave for almost two years while the incidents were investigated.

The investigation led to an April 9 hearing in Columbus by an Ohio Department of Education hearing examiner. His report and recommendation are scheduled to be presented to the State Board of Education at its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The findings will not be made public until then.

The hearing included testimony from Booth, his two 17-year-old accusers, and three others.

At the conclusion, a Department of Education attorney argued for an indefinite suspension and an evaluation to determine Booth's fitness for duty. But his attorney maintained there was no proof of wrongdoing and that the touching charges be dismissed.

The charges were leveled against Booth in the fall of 2011. The Athens County Sheriff's Office investigated, and no criminal charges were filed after authorities concluded there "was no probable cause."

However, Ohio Assistant Attorney General Lee Ann Rabe said the state has a different set of standards for teacher conduct, and she contended the evidence showed Booth had violated sections of the Ohio Revised Code.

She pointed to the testimony of three female students whose names were not used for reasons of confidentiality.

One testified that Booth "brushed" her chest with a paper he was giving her in class and that he did so deliberately. The account was backed up by the second student witness who was sitting nearby at the time.

The third student testified about two different incidents in another of Booth's history classes.

When he took the stand, Booth denied the allegations. He was supported by testimony from a student teacher and a member of the Alexander Local School Board.

A fourth count against Booth is that he made "inappropriate comments" during a school assembly and was reprimanded by school officials.

Assistant A.G. Rabe asked the hearing officer to order that Booth submit to an evaluation to determine whether he should be allowed to return to the classroom and that he undergo monitoring by school officials for three years. 

Booth has remained on administrative leave and has continued to receive his $56,000 salary.

 

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Good luck, Sam.

 

 

 
 
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