Wilkes-Barre Board To Address School, Teacher Troubles

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WILKES-BARRE -- The Wilkes-Barre Area School District meets Monday night at Solomon Plains Junior High School. Perhaps the most noteworthy topic will be the fate of five teachers from GAR Junior Senior High School who may have violated its alcohol policy.

Those five teachers from GAR could face termination for possibly violating the district's alcohol policy earlier this year.

The district hasn't released what they did to violate the policy, but parents have mixed feelings about their punishment if they're found guilty.

"It'd probably be best if they were fired," said Bob Holden of Wilkes-Barre. "You don't want the kids to drink, so why are you drinking?"

"I think that's too harsh," said Wilkes-Barre resident Dale Deitrick. "I think more or less a suspension or some kind of disciplinary action."

"If they good teachers, keep them in the school. Everybody go through their problems," said Andre Wynn of Wilkes-Barre.

There are other firings that could result from the meeting.

The school board is expected to consider adding GAR to the consolidation of Meyers and Coughlin. If that happens, one board member thinks it'll save the district money because there will be fewer teachers to employ.

A third item is the growing debt in the district. It's expected to balloon to $70 million over the next five years, according to a recent state education report. The district's debt could eventually drive up taxes.

"Taxes are going to keep going up regardless if there's one school or three schools, so it doesn't matter how many schools there are," said Holden.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School District is also in the works to lease the Times Leader building on North Main Street, but the plan is on hold because the district is waiting to hear the state's opinion on the agreement.

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