Weir Middle School Principal Barbara Switzer refutes the claim that she in any way denied teachers and service personnel at the school the opportunity to participate in the “no confidence” vote held by the Hancock County Education Association recently.  The HCEA said that 93.4% of employees voted “no confidence” in Superintendent Dawn Petrovich while 92% expressed a lack of confidence in Board members Danny Kaser, Toni Hinerman, Ghris Gillete and Larry Shaw.

     A March 29th news release from the HCEA said 310 employees voted, but 40 employees at Weir Middle “were not permitted to participate.”  .

       Switzer said that was not the case.

      “I did not deny them (the opportunity to vote) nor did any secretary,” said Switzer.  “I never said it was not allowed.”

       Switzer said she only  learned of the HCEA’s plan to conduct a vote during school hours when Amy Durkin, the school’s HCEA representative,  came to her to tell her of the planned vote.    According to Switzer, Durkin said to her “I feel very uncomfortable about this.”  Switzer said both she and Durkin were concerned that the “letter of the law” was followed in conducting the vote.      

      According to Switzer, teachers, staff and custodians are all contracted employees and during their specified working hours are paid to perform their duties.    Switzer said that the vote could have been conducted in the cafeteria or parking lot prior to the start of the employees’ day or when their work day was concluded.