Fayetteville Schools Considers Personnel Action Concerning ‘Employee’


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — The Fayetteville School Board is moving forward in considering personnel action concerning an ’employee,’ but a hearing date has not been set.

The decision was made during a special meeting Wednesday.

It was not specified who the employee is.

Susan Keller Kendall of Kendall Law Firm, legal counsel for Fayetteville Board of Education, released a statement after the meeting.

“The Board has deemed it appropriate to proceed with further consideration of a personnel action. The Board will not make any personnel decisions without ensuring that constitutional due process is afforded to its employees. The Board has been diligent in its efforts to bring a fair and swift resolution while respecting the rights – constitutional, privacy, or otherwise – of all parties involved,” the statement said. “We appreciate your understanding that this is a pending personnel matter and that we cannot comment further at this time.”

The board went straight into executive session after the meeting started at 5 p.m. Fayetteville Public Schools Superintendent Matthew Wendt was called into the executive session at around 5:30 p.m. Wendt remained in the session for about 30 minutes.

A Fayetteville community member who went to the meeting said if it did have anything to do with Wendt’s sexual harassment investigation, something must be done.

“He is in such a position of power. He must be above reproach. It’s so difficult for a victim to come out and say anything,” said Judy Harris.

The attorney for the employee who filed the complaint against Wendt said this decision is a step in the right direction.

Fayetteville Public Schools announced on April 5 that an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Wendt by a school employee had been launched.

It was announced on April 6 that Wendt was on leave from his duties while the investigation proceeded.

Fayetteville school teachers and faculty attended the meeting wearing shirts proclaiming “TIME’S UP,” referring to the movement launched out of Hollywood to end sexual harassment against women.

The board of education is required to give a two hour notice of the time and place of a special meeting.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is next Thursday, April 26h. 

Wendt became superintendent in July 2016, becoming the district’s eleventh superintendent since 1871, according to his biography on the school district’s website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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