Stop Passing Fired Educators Around

Among actions officials of the North Fork Local School District in Utica, Ohio, took several weeks ago to get ready for the new academic year was to hire Jeffrey L. Poulton as an assistant high school principal. Last week they fired him.

It seems Poulton, 44, was fired from Columbus City Schools earlier this year. According to a published report, he had improper “sexual contact” with another teacher.

North Fork officials didn’t know that. They got rid of Poulton after someone called and tipped them off.

“It’s difficult for districts out here like us to find out anything,” explained North Fork Superintendent Scott Hartley.

Poulton’s firing in Columbus and the reason for it had been reported to the state Department of Education. But when North Fork requested information about him, state officials kept the firing confidential.

That is outrageous and unacceptable. When public schools fire personnel for misconduct, others considering hiring them should be given the information. How else will the education community rid itself of the few rotten apples in its midst?

State legislators should order the Department of Education to begin sharing information on terminations such as Poulton’s.