SALEM, IN (WAVE) – A Salem, Indiana teacher charged with throwing a party for underage kids, that included alcohol, will not completely lose her job.
In a 5-2 vote, the Salem Community Schools Board of Trustees decided not to fire Laura Mahuron, but instead, suspend her for one year without pay.
High school graduations are a time to celebrate, but the Washington County Sheriff's Office said the middle school teacher, and her husband John Mahuron, broke the law during their 18-year-old daughter's graduation party.
"She is remorseful about the events of the evening," said Dr. D. Lynn Reed, superintendent. "I feel that some of the events that were portrayed in the media are not factual."
Court documents stated that on May 26, an anonymous caller led investigators to the Mahuron's Salem home. This is where they said they found about two dozen teens drinking openly.
The husband and wife are each charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This charge is for a dozen 16 and 17-year-olds who tested positive for alcohol. Eleven teens, who were over the age of 18, were charged individually for having alcohol in their systems. The report stated one teen was so drunk, he had to go the hospital.
"I think she admits she made an error in judgement," said Reed. "However, I think this is a fair document."
On Monday, the school board passed a disciplinary agreement after meeting with the science and social studies teacher. She will get to keep her job, but will have to sit out, without pay and benefits, for a year. It was a decision Salem school board members did not take lightly.
"I've really struggled with this for awhile. This is the toughest decision that I've had since I've been on the school board," said Jason Pepmeier, board member.
Pepmeier was one of two board members who voted against it. He said he thinks she should have been let go.
"No ill feelings towards Laura, I just really feel that this is a pretty big deal," said Pepmeier.
Reed said Laura Mahuron, who has been with Salem schools for 12 years, makes well over $50,000. Pepmeier said she stressed she wanted to keep her job.
"The one thing we've heard through the whole investigation is how great of a teacher she is and that didn't come into play with me at all," said Pepmeier.
In addition to Laura Mahuron's suspension, she will be required to complete a teacher improvement program, focusing on teacher ethics. She must also take alcohol and drug classes.
As for her 18-year-old daughter, she was not charged because she did not have alcohol in her system.
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