Washington High School Boys Basketball Head Coach Connor Scott has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to the district.
“I can confirm that Mr. Connor Scott has been placed on paid administrative leave,” Director of Marketing and Communications at Washington Court House City Schools Trevor Patton said on Tuesday. “Other than that, as this is a private employment matter, I cannot discuss it any further at this time. Out of respect of all of our staff and students, we follow federal law and protocols, which is why it cannot be discussed further.”
Scott, who just started his second year at the helm of the basketball program, did not finish coaching Saturday’s game against Westfall.
According to Patton, Mark Bihl, athletic director, and Derrick Lyons, WMS math teacher, will temporarily fill in to coach the Blue Lions. Lyons has coached at the middle school level for Washington in the past, including leading the eighth grade team to a FAC championship last season. Scott is additionally on paid leave from his position as a physical education teacher at the high school.
According to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), public employees have protections against unwarranted discipline, termination, layoffs, transfers and other changes in employment. Due to this — when facing potential changes — school boards (or most public entities) in Ohio will generally need to investigate into issues or complaints before any decisions will be made. These decisions though must be made in open, public meetings but can be discussed in private sessions at the discretion of the board per an “executive session.”
To explain, school boards of education in Ohio — as do many other public entities per the ORC — may enter executive session for many reasons including, “To consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official…” or the investigation of charges or complaints against such employees.
Further — as stated — the ORC does not allow school boards to make decisions during executive sessions as all disciplinary actions regarding public employees must be voted on during open sessions made available to the public.
The district also clarified a few of its policies that might be relevant, including “staff infractions,” which puts in place a progressive penalty system when dealing with rules being broken and “staff discipline” that states when the discipline of a staff member becomes necessary, such action will be in proportion to the offense.
Stay with the Record-Herald as more information becomes available concerning the WHS Boys Basketball Head Coach Connor Scott.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.