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PARKERSBURG – The Wood County Board of Education this morning, April 15, in separate actions, suspended the principal of the Williamstown Elementary School and continues to suspend the Martin School Assistant assigned to battery a disabled child.

The School Board suspended Williamstown Principal Heather Mannix Breethauer pending the outcome of the investigation.

The council voted four goals to none, with council president Justin Raber disqualifying himself from voting in favor “Approval of Employee Paid Suspension and Continued Paid Suspension, Pending Investigation Outcome,” A statement from the board of directors said.

Details of the suspension and investigation were not discussed in an open session. Suspended suspensions are paid with the results of the investigation.

Wood County schools are prohibited by law from discussing employee issues or investigations. School Board action on personnel items, however, is public record.

An initial vote, also 4-0, was taken at the board meeting on 11 April, but Braithwer’s name was not used. The statement said Saturday’s vote corrected the error

Bretthauer has not been in school since March 3. Retired Wood County School Superintendent Keith Palmer is the acting principal at Williamstown Elementary, the statement said.

The Board of Education also continued to suspend Ryan Gaston, a Martin Elementary School aide. Gaston was charged on March 30 with battery and assault of a disabled child, a felony.

Gaston has not been in school since March 9th. The incident occurred on March 7, according to Wood County court records.

The council met in a special session for the 2024 budget.

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