West Branch Board of Education Votes to Keep Teachers and Board - Northern Michigan's News Leader

West Branch Board of Education Votes to Keep Teachers and Board Secretary

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UPDATE:

9&10 News has new information after speaking with the West Branch - Rose City Area School District Superintendent.

The Superintendent says the school board has ordered all staff to take ethics training.  The board will review their mandatory reporting if they think there could be abuse. 

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Update: The West Branch Board of Education voted 4 to 2 in favor of keeping six teachers and school board secretary, Mike Eagan.

It all started last month when former Ogemaw Heights teacher Neal Erickson was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison for sex crimes against a student.

School board members and fellow teachers supported Erickson throughout the trial, angering many in the community.

Tempers flared during the public comment part of the meeting, with screaming matches breaking out at times, as many want the teachers fired and Eagan to resign.

Following a public comment part of the meeting, the board then moved into a closed session for voting at 9:30 PM.

The final decision was made at 11:30 PM, as the board decided the teacher's actions were covered under First Amendment Rights.

Students and parents will get the opportunity to choose what classes and teachers they take next year, so they can avoid certain teachers if they chose to do so.

25 students have left the West Branch Rose City Area School District since the incident, some citing it as a reason for their departure.