OESJ Superintendent placed on paid administrative leave

ST. JOHNSVILLE, N.Y. – The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Board of Education has voted to place Superintendent Laura Lawrence on paid administrative leave.

The Board of Education made the decision during a vote of 4-3 on Wednesday. The district says the board members' reasons for placing Lawrence on leave will not be discussed publicly. However, it was confirmed that the State Department of Education is currently investigating past grading and promotion practices of the former Oppenheim-Ephratah district.

Dr. Patrick Michael, the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District Superintendent, says that the state's investigation is unrelated to the reason Lawrence has been placed on leave.

The State Education Department stated: “The Department's policy is not to comment on allegations of testing irregularities that may have been received unless they are verified through investigation.”

Dr. Michael will serve as the acting OESJ Superintendent until further notice.

Tamara Romeyn, a high school senior in the district, she says she'll be planning
an act of civil disobedience, organizing a sit in at the start of Friday's school
day. She's calling on the school board to reinstate Lawrence.

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