Archive for Tuesday, September 30, 1997


September 30, 1997


— Teacher Steve Decker is seeking $100,000 in the claim, which alleges he is being harassed.

A dispute between the Wellsville High School principal and a teacher who was fired last spring and rehired this fall has taken another legal turn.

Steve Decker, a teacher whose contract was not renewed in April but was rehired on the eve of a judicial hearing in August, has filed a formal tort claim against the school board alleging continued harassment.

The claim, which, according to state law, must be filed with the school board before a lawsuit can be lodged, seeks $100,000 in damages and an end to alleged harassment by principal Randall Renoud.

Renoud made a recommendation to the board not to renew Decker's contract. The reason repeatedly has been discussed by the board in executive session but still has not been made in public.

However, sources said Renoud had personal problems with Decker, and claims Decker hasn't administered tests properly and shouldn't be using certain curriculum to teach his classes.

Renoud has denied that he has personal problems with Decker.

"The same false allegations that were made initially are still being held over his head," said Dick Anderson, Decker's attorney. "We won't be satisfied until Mr. Renoud lays off."

The school board was expected to discuss the claim, again behind closed doors, at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Board secretary Gwyn Boone referred questions about the claim to the board's attorney, Bob Bezek of Ottawa. Bezek could not be reached Monday.

The board has 120 days to respond to the claim.

Decker and the board in August had scheduled a special hearing to determine if the board had good cause not to renew his contract. But three days before the hearing, the board reversed its earlier decision and renewed Decker's contract.

Decker has taught in the district 22 years.

The initial decision in April prompted a walkout of about 150 students from Wellsville schools in protest.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.