Storey County Rejects Settlement With Fired Teacher

The Storey County School Board has rejected a proposed settlement offered by attorneys for fired Virginia City High School teacher William Beeson.

The board turned down the offer on a 3-2 vote. The matter now will be handled in a grievance procedure the settlement would have avoided.

Beeson, who taught theater arts and English at the high school, was placed on administrative leave in May and fired in August over allegations that he improperly touched a student.

No criminal charges were filed, and District Attorney Harold Swafford said he didn't believe a crime was committed. The board reviewed a private investigator's report and a video of the alleged incident.

Board President Pam Smith, who voted for the agreement Tuesday, said putting the matter behind them was best for the school district and students.

Under the proposal, Beeson would have been allowed to resign rather than be fired, and the board would have bought out the remaining time on his contract.

In return, Beeson would have waived appeals, given up his teaching credentials and agreed not to seek or accept a similar position anywhere in the United States.

Smith was joined by Chris Miller in voting to accept the settlement. Board members Deny Dotson, Curt Chapman and Esther Schouten voted against it.

Smith and Miller indicated they voted in favor of the agreement because of the stipulation Beeson would give up his teaching credentials.

"If we go to hearing, all the board can do is uphold the termination," she said. "This is heartbreaking for everyone.

"Things that were presented show the actions were inappropriate for an educational setting," she said, but added that the district had to consider the costs of attorneys fees and further appeals.

But Schouten and Chapman were unhappy the teacher would be allowed to resign rather than be fired and would receive a buyout.

Superintendent Rob Slaby said he expected the grievance hearing to held before the end of the month.