The Times West Virginian

November 6, 2012

BOE OKs termination of NMHS cheer coach

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — A North Marion High School cheerleading coach who was charged with sexual abuse has been dismissed from her coaching position.

At Monday night’s Marion County Board of Education meeting, the board members first voted 5-0 in favor of the suspension of Amanda Barker, which was effective Oct. 10. Then the board voted unanimously for her immediate termination.

On Oct. 23, the West Virginia State Police arrested Amanda Jo “Mandy” Barker, a freshman cheerleading coach at North Marion, on three counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust to a child. Barker, 31, of Mannington, is charged with allegedly performing oral sex three times on a 16-year-old male student, according to the criminal com­plaint filed at the Marion County Magistrate Court.

Barker has posted a $15,000 bond and faces 30 to 60 years in prison if convicted.

“The recommendation to suspend was based on the results of an investigation, which were provided to us by the investigating agency,” said Marion County Superintendent of Schools Gary Price. “Once we reviewed the report, we felt there was no option other than to remove her from her position immediately and bar her from attending high school events in the future.”

Price explained that since the board of education is the body that hires school coaches and personnel, it must also vote to approve the suspensions and dismissals of employees.

Barker was suspended without pay, officials at Marion County Schools said previously.


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