UPDATE: Superintendent Reinstates Suspended Parkersburg South Teacher

By: News Email
By: News Email
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UPDATE 7/29/2014 4:35 PM

He's been out of the classroom since last spring.

But when school resumes next month, a controversial Parkersburg South High School educator will be teaching students again.

Wood County Superintendent John Flint reinstated Dave Foggin.

Foggin was suspended after a post critical of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance appeared on Facebook.

Flint says he made the decision himself after meeting with Foggin this summer

"After reviewing the situation, the facts, information...there have been no laws broken," says Flint. "Based on that, we need to get Dave back in the classroom. Teachers return on the 14th, so he needs to get back and prepared and get ready to go."

Flint takes the action less than one month after becoming superintendent.

His predecessor, Doctor Pat Law, responded to questions about Foggin by stating only the case was under investigation.

The new school year in Wood County begins August 18.


UPDATE 3/21/2014 12:20 PM

Students, parents and community members rallied at Parkersburg South Friday morning for and against a post made by a trusted teacher.

David Foggin was suspended for four days this week after a post on his personal Facebook page.

That post is getting a huge reaction.

A very large turn out Friday morning in support of Foggin, including students, parents and community members speaking highly of the teacher and almost in shock that it has come to this.

Only about a dozen students were there against Foggin and they said they just want an apology.

"This is stupid. He got suspended for no good reason," says one student.

People lined the street Friday morning in a peaceful protest over the suspension of the Parkersburg South physics teacher.

"For us to stand up for freedom of speech, and for what God's morals are not the societies' morals," says one student.

Passionate supporters pushed the right for free speech, praising Foggin's character and support for his students.

"It's all about his personality. If you actually knew him, you wouldn't be offended by that," says one student.

Parkersburg Police were present, making sure nothing got out of hand.

Telling students Mr. Foggin wanted them to go inside for class at 8 a.m., not many did.

Many are saying the situation has turned into a gay-straight debate but some openly gay students say they were not offended at all.

"I'm gay myself and I didn't see the problem with it, half the gay kids in this school don't see a problem with it," says one student.

But those who think what Foggin did was wrong just want an apology.

"And I'm standing up for the kids in the school that are afraid. I think if he apologized it would be a lot better," says one student. "I feel if he gets fired, everyone that is gay or bi-sexual would feel a lot better."

School officials say right now it's about student safety.

"Our concern at this point is student safety. The students are in support, on both sides of this situation here today and our goal was to make sure traffic keeps moving and our educational process stays in place," says Asst. Superintendent Mike Fling.

Parkersburg South principal Tom Eschbacher says reports of bullying have not been confirmed.

They are looking into possible cyber bullying.

Friday was Foggin's fourth day out of school.

Wood County Superintendent Dr. Patrick Law says they are still investigating.

There is no time frame as to when a decision will be made about Foggin or what will happen next.

The students go on spring break next week.


UPDATE 3/19/2014 5:25 PM

A Facebook post about a gay-straight social club at school gets a Parkersburg South teacher suspended.

Now an avalanche of comments both for and against a well liked teacher.

The Gay-Straight Alliance brings gay and straight students together to talk about issues facing GLBT kids and the student body.

The administration suspended Parkersburg South teacher David Foggin.

But that suspension created a social media firestorm of comments both for and against this long time teacher.

A group of student supporters through Twitter and hashtags are backing him.

Teacher David Foggin's one Facebook post is now being followed by so much more.

Using #TeamFoggin, or #FreeFoggin, a group of supportive students are making t-shirts and flower head bands being worn around school.

Whatever Foggin's intentions were with the post, now a school is divided and the reaction from the post may be worse than the post itself.

The Gay-Straight Alliance advisor says this is making things worse.

He says kids supporting Foggin are now bullying the GSA students, threatening them and their safety.

He says Foggin needs to come forward and tell the kids to stop.

But students supporting Foggin say they don't see it.

The Facebook post wasn't bullying.

They want him back in school and he has the right to free speech.

The Gay-Straight Alliance advisor says Foggin needs to make clear to the students supporting him what he really wants out of this.

Students say they just want him back.

He is a very loved teacher.

But they do agree that with the position he is in, as a teacher he holds some responsibility with what he posts on social media.


UPDATE 3/19/2014 11:40 AM

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - A Parkersburg South High School teacher is suspended following a Facebook post he made regarding the school's Gay-Straight Alliance student club.

Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law says David Foggin was suspended on Tuesday for four days.

Law says the Wood County school board will decide whether the suspension is paid or unpaid, or whether to make any changes.

Foggin posted an image on Facebook of a poster advertising the club's meetings, along with a comment stating, "We are also considering a drunks-t totaller club, drugged/sober club, smokeless tobacco vs smokes club, street racing, and deer poaching clubs."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


A Facebook Post by a Parkersburg South High School teacher has another teacher coming forward, and some students upset.

"Club meeting at PSHS!! Rally around them and show ur support. We are also considering a drunks-t totaller club, drugged/sober club, smokeless tobacco vs smokes club, street racing, and deer poaching clubs. Please donate and support us. Thank u!!! I think I hear the drag already zinging," wrote physics teacher David Foggin on his Facebook page Friday in reference to the school's "Gay-Straight Alliance" club.

He attached a picture of the group's meeting time and location.

The school district is aware of it and investigating. Principal Tom Eschbacher and Asst. Supt. Mike Fling say they're looking into the matter. Officials wouldn't give us further comment, but we did speak with the advisor of the "Gay-Straight Alliance".

Justin McKown says his goal as the group's leader is giving the students a safe-environment to voice their beliefs and be themselves.

"I'm encouraging students to stand-up for what they feel. If I didn't do something or didn't say something and make the community aware of what they stand for then there could be a misrepresentation of what they are," he said.

McKown also teaches 10th grade English at Parkersburg South.
He says his group is designed to create a safe place for LGBT students, and straight students, to gather and develop ways to address local social problems.

We were unable to contact Mr. Foggin for comment.


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