Keep Students Out of Danger

Public school officials should have a zero-tolerance policy regarding teachers whose conduct intentionally puts children at risk in any way. That ought to go without saying.

But in Kanawha County, it appears that outlook resulted in a miscarriage of justice. Fortunately, a judge prevented it from going further than it did.

April Perry Noble, 42, of Charleston, was accused last year of seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child. They stemmed from a claim Noble, then a substitute teacher, had bought alcohol for students partying in her home.

Read that last sentence again. It was just one report that landed Noble in trouble.

After looking into the case, a magistrate dismissed charges against Noble last September. Last week, a circuit judge ordered her record be expunged. She has never been accused of any other crime.

This accusation resulted from a single email sent to a school principal by someone Noble described as “a disgruntled parent.”

Because of that, charges were filed and Noble lost both her full-time job and her teaching privileges. Her life was thrown into chaos.

Every effort should be made to help Noble rebuild her life. That, too, goes without saying.

But school officials, who merely notified police of the claim, acted properly. Educators in our area should do precisely the same thing if similar circumstances arise here.