Washington Local Schools votes down waiver to allow Hickey on property

Washington Local Schools votes down waiver to allow Hickey on property

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Washington Local School Board voted down a one-time waiver for Patrick Hickey to come on school grounds for an organizational meeting January 3 with the new board.

They also voted no to meeting at an alternative location to allow him to attend.

It was standing room only Wednesday night at the Washington Local Schools Board Meeting, including a number of people who were standing out in the hall.

The meeting was heated as public comment was cut off on the most controversial item on the agenda, a one time-waiver to the a ban from school property for new board member, Patrick Hickey. The vote was intended to provide a way for Hickey to attend their organizational meeting January 3, 2018.

The board voted NO 3-2 on the issue, but not before several concerned parents and staff tried to have their say.

Outside the building, they gave their full comments to WTOL 11.

"I as an individual citizen, voting citizen don't think that ban should be lifted," Tina Wagner, a parent of a student in the district, said.

Hickey's was Washington Local Schools' Superintendent from 2007 to 2015. He's resigned amidst controversy.

He has been accused of harassment and intimidation of school employees, and was banned from school property after an altercation with a referee at a high school game.

"It's been a two-year ban for yelling at an official, which shows the punitive nature of this board," Hickey said after the meeting. "Which is why the community has spoken so loudly when the two incumbents were last and 3rd to last."

Hickey said he thought the board would vote 'no' on a temporary waiver to the ban, and that is what happened. But he says he believes the newly elected board members will sway the vote in his favor in January.

That's something several people at the meeting said they plan to fight.

"It's very important to me. I don't think people should have to go to work being afraid," board member Cindy Perry said.

"Safety really needs to come first for students and staff," Kathy Mayfield said. "There have been allegations and proven incidents, so i came tonight to speak out and protect them."

But that public comment was shut down whenever someone spoke about the ban vote. The Board president, David Hunter, says he made the decision to protect the district.

"I firmly believe if this district is going to go forward and really heal, that we don't need to open that microphone up for people to say what they've said in letters and things and to attack people back and forth," Hunter said.

That back and forth happening anyway, with some people speaking out loudly in the meeting in protest.

Five days after the election that put Hickey back on the school board, a petition started urging the school board to at least partially continue the ban.

The petition asked that the board keep Hickey banned from entering district property, with the exception of the Lincolnshire Administration Building.

It read in part:

"The voters have spoken, and Patrick Hickey has been elected to the school board. However, due to the allegations listed above, the undersigned do not feel it is in the best interest or safety of Washington Local staff and students for Patrick Hickey to have unfettered access to district property."

The petition also includes a list of allegations against Hickey.

The allegations include:

  • Engaging in inappropriate relationships with staff members
  • Receiving inappropriate pictures/videos from staff
  • Contacting a female staff member after she requested to be left alone
  • Jogging past the house of staff members who filed complaints against him
  • Omitting allegations of relationships with students when applying for employment with Washington Local Schools
  • Intimidating a board member through district-wide e-mails, and social media
  • Intimidating a teacher who filed a complaint against him
  • Harassing multiple people at a basketball game

Hickey continued to maintain support in the community during the investigation into his behavior and after his resignation culminating in his election victory.

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