WHS teacher’s suspension extended 30 days

PARKERSBURG – The Wood County Board of Education has extended the suspension of a Williamstown High School teacher who was accused of filing a false police report.

The school board voted 5-0 Monday to suspend Cheryl C. Connelly, a choir teacher at WHS, for an additional 30 days without pay. Connelly has been on paid leave since Dec. 11 after police charged her with reporting a false emergency.

Connelly’s name was not used during Monday’s meeting, but was instead listed by an employee number. The original recommendation listed on the board’s agenda was to extend the paid leave from Dec. 11 through Feb. 6.

Following a closed-door session, Superintendent Pat Law modified the recommendation to a 30-day unpaid suspension, effective starting today.

The police charges and suspension stemmed from an incident Oct. 22 when Connelly allegedly contacted Williamstown High’s prevention resource officer, saying a 17-year-old male student had made threats of bringing a gun to school and shooting others.

Officers investigating the allegation determined no such threats had been made by the student. Officers said they are unsure why Connelly made the allegation.

Connelly was arraigned Dec. 10 in Wood County Magistrate Court and released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. The penalty for reporting a false emergency is up to $500 or six months in jail.

Connelly has worked at Williamstown High for about 15 years.