The administration and Clay Community Classroom Teachers Association are remaining quiet regarding the investigation into North Clay Middle School teacher Anita Miller.
After the Jan. 17 school board meeting, which gave the administrators permission to begin the investigation, Superintendent Dan Schroeder refused comment because it is a personnel issue.
CCCTA representative Russ True told The Brazil Times the association had no comment, and was leaving the situation up to Miller and her legal counsel.
Some citizens have been concerned as to why Miller was not released from her contract immediately and why she was placed on paid leave after being arrested Jan. 13, and charged with public intoxication and public nudity.
Some grounds for dismissal in the Indiana legal code are very specific, but most are vague and require consideration.
According to Indiana Code 20-28-7, a teacher can be dismissed for immorality, insubordination, which is considered "a willful refusal to obey the state school laws or reasonable rules prescribed for the government of the school corporation," neglect of duty, incompetence, a justifiable decrease in teaching positions, a felony conviction listed under revocation of a teaching license (IC 20-28-5.8), or an other good and just cause.
The Clay Community Schools Board of School Trustees has not established that Miller has participated in any conduct that would fall under those categories. The Jan. 17 meeting was called to give the administration the power to look into the charges against Miller and decide if they fall under IC 20-28-7.
If the administration proceeds with dismissal, the process for a school board to cancel a contract with a teacher is laid out within chapter 20 of the Indiana code (IC 20-28-7.3).
The first step is for the teacher in question to be notified in writing of the time, date and place where the school board will consider dismissal. Within five days of the notice, the teacher must receive a written reason as to why cancellation is being considered.
Then, the teacher may request a hearing, where the teacher in question can present evidence and testimony to refute the dismissal.
The superintendent will weigh-in with his or her recommendations, and the board would vote on the dismissal at a regular meeting.
When a cancellation is pending, a teacher may be suspended, and IC 20-28-7.4 says, "the governing body may not, while the teacher is suspended, withhold from the teacher any salary payments or other employment related benefits that before the suspension the teacher was entitle to receive."
The contract between the CCCTA and the school board does not include any language about teacher suspension or dismissal.
Indiana code says the laws in chapter 20 are not to limit what can be included in a collectively bargained contract dealing with contract cancellation.
Corporations can choose to not extend the grounds laid out in the code.
Indiana law gives the corporation direction if they decide to proceed. Any decisions will be made after results of the investigation are given to the board.