NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) — The Newton Falls school board voted on Friday to contract with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office amid a newly surfaced controversy.
Newton Falls Exempted Village Schools called an emergency board meeting after an outpouring of criticism from parents. Now, Newton Falls Mayor Ken Kline is calling for the resignation of city manager Pam Priddy after he says she circulated altered text messages regarding the school resource officer to the media and the community.
After a unanimous vote from the board of education, Newton Falls schools will now have a resource officer once again stationed in the school halls.
“We appreciate very much the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office being able to provide us a school resource officer on short notice,” said interim Superintendent Justin Christopher.
Starting Monday, a school resource officer will be back on campus. The district will pay almost $16,000 for the remainder of the school year.
“We weren’t given the proper time to be able to come to a solution,” Christopher said. “When that happened, obviously we had to scramble.”
Prior to that meeting, the Newton Falls Mayor asked for the resignation of city manager Priddy. He says she altered text messages between two of them.
“Part of the texts were removed,” Kline said.
Kline provided part of that text message chain to First News. Priddy provided a packet of documents Tuesday.
“No matter what she does now good in the community, I don’t believe that community will ever receive it,” Kline said.
Priddy provided First News with the following statement:
This morning, I was blindsided by the unfounded accusations by Mayor Kenneth Kline sent via email. On the advice of legal counsel, no further statements will be released at this time.
Kline says he disagrees with Priddy’s decision to remove the school resource officer from the schools on March 17.
“Not only did she pull the the SRO, leaving our children unsafe, but then she altered documentation and distributed it,” Kline said.