MONROE - Monroe Public School officials took action last night to terminate a high school teacher who has been on leave from her job since May 30 because of allegations involving an underage student.
The school board voted 6-0 to move forward with tenure charges against Kelly Abdo, a math teacher and volleyball coach who is under investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Trustee David Buchko was absent for the vote.
Ms. Abdo, 27, has not been charged, but Monroe County Sheriff Tilman Crutchfield confirmed yesterday that his office is looking into a parental complaint alleging an inappropriate relationship involving her and a 17-year-old male student.
He said investigators are waiting to learn the results of DNA testing on evidence sent to the Michigan State Police crime lab.
"We are waiting for the results. We are hoping that they will be available before the end of the month," he said. "Then we can move forward."
Nikki Klonaris, president of the teachers' union, said Ms. Abdo will continue to draw her $44,680 annual salary for teaching and coaching while the tenure charges move through the appeal process.
Under the Michigan Teachers' Tenure Act, she is entitled to appeal the board's decision to a state administrative judge.
Sheriff Crutchfield said the case will be sent to the prosecutor's office for further review upon the completion of the investigation
Ms. Abdo, who is married, has been teaching math at the school for four years. She has been coach of the girls' varsity high school volleyball squad for the last two seasons.
Rick Arnett, assistant superintendent of personal and human resources, said Ms. Abdo was a substitute teacher for Romulus Schools and a Trenton, Mich., school district prior to working at the high school.
The action was taken by the board during the regular board meeting and approved without discussion.
School officials met for more than an hour behind closed doors in executive session with the school district's attorney and union representatives before the meeting.
Ms. Klonaris said she was disappointed with the board's decision and thought the action was premature given that the investigation was ongoing and had not been reviewed by the prosecutor.
"I would have preferred that the board had given this more time to see whether or not charges will be brought forward," she said.
Superintendent David Taylor and school board officials refused to discuss the action at the conclusion of the meeting.
Ms. Abdo could not be reached for comment.
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