PAISD board votes 4-to-2 to suspend indicted teacher without pay

In a 4-to-2 decision, Port Arthur Independent School District board members voted to suspend a veteran teacher without pay.

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Ruby Gunner on a charge of injury to a child, after an 11-year-old student accused her of assaulting him.

The 40-year-veteran Port Arthur teacher insists she was defending herself.

There was a large group of teachers, members of the Port Arthur Teachers Association holding up signs in support of Gunner.

Although Gunner herself was not present, but her accuser and his family were, holding up photos of his injuries.

The vote against Gunner greatly upset the teacher, who saw it as a lack of support for them.

Former Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Thurman Bartie, who himself was forced from the judicial bench because of allegations of wrongdoing, was one of the people present to support Gunner.

Bartie is a tutor in the district.  He told us, "An individual can work for you for 40 some years, you can't have the decency to have this person to have the financial means until you either get an exoneration or a conviction."

The boy's mother Melissa Taylor was disappointed to see so many teachers supporting Gunner.

She told 12News, "This is what they're supporting, this is child abuse and no one should support that and some of these are teachers that are supporting this and they're the teachers of everybody else's kids, so how does everybody else feel about these teachers supporting this."

Also at Thursday's board meeting, the board voted to appoint deputy superintendent, Dr. Mark Porterie, as interim superintendent.

Superintendent Dr. Johnny Brown is stepping down on June 30.


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