Raleigh Co. teacher terminated on misconduct allegations - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Raleigh Co. teacher terminated on misconduct allegations

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BECKLEY (WVVA) -- Following a lengthy hearing at the board of education, Michael "Chuck" Cooper is no longer an employee of the Raleigh County School District.  Cooper was brought up on teacher/student misconduct allegations.  The board voted unanimously to terminate Cooper and uphold his suspension without pay, per the superintendent's recommendation.

Details about the allegations are limited, however much of the controversy deals around a conversation via electronic media.

The closed hearing began at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.  Testimonies from the superintendent, Beckley police and family and friends of Cooper were all taken into consideration.  After more than five hours, the board voted.

"Close to 100 percent of our employees never have a problem, we just happen to focus on this at this time, and it kind of relates to society today.  Things like this happen.  But I think people need to, teachers need to take a step back, and you need to understand, these are students and you're adults.  There needs to be a line drawn there, and you can't cross that.  It seems to me, amazing to me what people would never say to someone in person, but they'll do over a social media," says Rick Snuffer, president of the Raleigh County Board of Education. 

Cooper had been employed with the school system since 1997.  He was currently serving as a social studies teacher and assistant wrestling coach for Woodrow Wilson High School.  Cooper was going to be the new head football coach for Independence High School starting this fall. 

Snuffer says in light of this case and another similar misconduct case heard earlier in the summer, the school system will be taking a look at their communications policy. 

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