School administrator accused of intimidation and threats resigns - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

School administrator accused of intimidation and threats resigns

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Mark Thomas (Source: Hardin County Schools) Mark Thomas (Source: Hardin County Schools)
John Wright John Wright
New Highland Elementary School New Highland Elementary School

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) – In three years, five teachers have come forward and filed grievances against a Hardin County school administrator. The teachers accused Mark Thomas, principal of New Highland Elementary School, of using intimidation and threats against their jobs on a daily basis.

Four teachers filed grievances in 2010, but Hardin County Schools were unable to prove anything. In May 2013, the school district received a formal grievance from another teacher and a recorded conversation between she and Thomas.

"They were threats of intimidation, threats of harm, and you can listen to what those are," said John Wright, spokesperson for the Hardin County Schools.

In the recording Thomas tells the teacher she needs to leave the school because his wife knows of their affair and will retaliate.

"I'm saying what Rosie is going to do and what Rosie is willing to do, I do not like," Thomas says in the recorded conversation. "We know chief of police very well. She'll do whatever it takes."

The intimidation and the suggestion that his wife will harm the woman involved was enough evidence for the district, but it continued in the recording.

"She's not going to stop till she gets relief," said Thomas who stresses his wife believes he should be the one out of the affair who stays at New Highland Elementary. "You belong there Mark, you're going to stay there Mark. I mean that's her view."

In the recording Thomas also said Hardin County Superintendent Nannette Johnston is aware of the affair and told him either he or the teacher involved must resign. Wright said Johnston never said that and was unaware of their relationship until the tape came forward.

Thomas, who was originally suspended, was terminated after the tape. Wright said when Thomas was shown the recorded tape he waived his right to an appeal and resigned.

Hardin County Schools say Mark Thomas will never work in the district again. HCS has filed a letter with the Education Professional Standards Board where other districts can view Thomas' history.

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