KPS meeting over teacher's employment lasts late into the night

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By News 5 Staff

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Updated: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 01:48:20 CST

After more than four hours of testimony and discussion, the Kearney Public School Board of Education still had not voted Monday night about the fate of an elementary school teacher.

The board of education held a special meeting to hear Central Elementary teacher Candace Flavell, who's being questioned about taking excessive time off.

She said it's because of religion reasons.

Flavell asked for time off earlier in the school year to attend religious events. She said she'd been granted the time-off request in the past during her 12 years with the district.

This year, her request was denied, but she took the time anyway and was placed on administrative leave.

"You will see that this is an exceptional teacher that you have had for a long time that has done wonderful things and has shown year after year despite the fact that there as been a request for leave for religious purposes year after year," said Flavell's attorney, Rick Wade.

The school district said teachers are allowed three personal days with pay and a few without, but Flavell had taken two weeks off since the start of the school year in August.

The district's attorney said her absence included at least one parent-teacher conference day.

"The calendar fell really bad this year as far as ability of the ELL teacher to leave," the district's attorney said. "And, what she missed, could not be made up by a substitute."

The Board of Education had not voted on whether or not Flavell would be terminated as of 11 p.m. Monday. 

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