Parents go to state Supreme Court over Marple firing - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Parents go to state Supreme Court over Marple firing

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 'GSC' Week Gives College Students Chance to Relax Before Final Exams

    'GSC' Week Gives College Students Chance to Relax Before Final Exams

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:23:10 GMT
    Glenville State College is holding its annual GSC week, offering students a chance to enjoy games and other activities before the crush of finals.
    Glenville State College is holding its annual GSC week, offering students a chance to enjoy games and other activities before the crush of finals.
  • Glenville State College Helps Elementary School Prepare for Annual Lemonade Stand Day

    Glenville State College Helps Elementary School Prepare for Annual Lemonade Stand Day

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:18:50 GMT
    The event uses a common childhood activity to teach kids about business and entrepreneurship.
    The event uses a common childhood activity to teach kids about business and entrepreneurship.
  • 'Energy Speaks Education Alliance' Hosts Career Day for Local High Schools

    'Energy Speaks Education Alliance' Hosts Career Day for Local High Schools

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:16:12 GMT
    Students from Harrison, Doddridge, and Taylor County schools participated in an oil and gas industry jobs event Thursday at United Technical Center.
    Students from Harrison, Doddridge, and Taylor County schools participated in an oil and gas industry jobs event Thursday at United Technical Center.

Nearly a week after the West Virginia Board of Education fired state Superintendent Jorea Marple, the parents of a Brookeview Elementary school student are seeking remedy through the state Supreme Court.

James Hicks and Michelle Hicks filed the emergency petition for writ of mandamus Nov. 21 against the agency, saying board members violated the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act.

The Hicks, who say the board's decision will affect the quality of education for their child, said Marple's employment was not listed on the agenda.

The Hicks' petition alleges Marple's firing was "predetermined in back-room, secret meetings among certain board members."

The petition also alleges that President L. Wade Linger has a history of violating open proceedings principles.

"For instance, at its October 15, 2012 meeting, President Linger instructed the secretary to cease all recordings of the board meetings," the petition asserts. "Other board members and the superintendent were unaware that the meeting was not being recorded. Certain board members learned after the meeting concluded that the president had directed that the meeting not be recorded. The president's decision to cease recording of the meeting was unilateral and in contravention of counsel advice." 

Marple was hired as the state superintendent of schools in 2011, and her employment status was not an item on the board's agenda. However, during the meeting, the board went into executive session, came out and voted to terminate Marple.

Because Marple is an at-will employee, the state Board of Education is not required to give a reason for her termination.

Board members Jenny Phillips and Priscilla Haden resigned in reaction to Marple's termination. Their resignations are effective in December. 

Linger issued a statement Nov. 20 saying, "it is paramount that the public voice continues to be heard as the state moves forward with ‘significant education reform.'"

"I have been advised by counsel that there may be concerns over the Open Meetings Act and we want to be responsive," Linger said in his statement. "I remain committed to my actions and recommendations regarding a new direction for education in our state but believe it is important to address this concern."

A board agenda for Nov. 21 included discussion about the superintendent vacancy, but it was later removed. And Linger's Nov. 20 announcement reinforced the narrowed focus of the scheduled meeting.

The board will host a special meeting Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. to revisit recommendations regarding the state superintendent, according to Linger's statement.