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School board pressed again on boy’s case

Staff photo / Ashley Fox Sheri Hartley addressed the Boardman Board of Education on Monday, presenting photos of her nephew’s neck. In January, a teacher’s aide was accused of stapling a reminder to the 10-year-old regarding a water bottle. Charges were not filed but the aide resigned.

BOARDMAN — Addressing the Boardman Board of Education on Monday night, Sheri Hartley asked the members to take a moment for self-reflection.

Hartley spoke on behalf of her family, representing her nephew. The family said the 10-year-old at Boardman Center Intermediate School had a reminder note about a water bottle stapled to his person earlier this year by a teacher’s aide.

Now, family and supporters again are asking that criminal charges be filed against the aide.

“Nobody’s asking for anything other than the proper punishment,” Anthony Buchmann, a supporter, said.

A police report from January stated the note was stapled to the 10-year-old’s shirt. An attorney for the boy’s mother, Sheli Myers — who is Hartley’s sister — said the note was stapled to the child’s head.

An investigation by the Boardman Police Department and Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office found no criminal activity, and the aide has resigned.

Board members unanimously accepted the aide’s resignation during last month’s board meeting.

While addressing the board, Hartley said multiple concerns were not included in the aide’s personnel file.

Last month, The Vindicator obtained the personnel file through a records request, and the only discipline was a letter of reprimand as a result of the January incident.

Prior to the meeting Monday, a group of about 20 supporters met outside the high school.

Hartley told the board that her nephew has been learning virtually at home. An Individual Education Program that has been in place since the boy was in kindergarten “is no longer in place,” she said, adding there has been no contact from the district.

Superintendent Tim Saxton declined to comment regarding the IEP, but did say that personnel from Boardman Center Intermediate School have been in contact with the boy and his mother “almost every day.”

“You cannot talk about the individual plans for a special needs child,” he said.

The district will continue to work forward, Saxton said. “We’re going to work to make sure we do whatever it takes to have a successful outcome to this,” he said.

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