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NLCC Teacher Resigns After Being Suspended, Computer Drive Seized
Updated April 16, 2018 7:25 AM
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Jason Harding, NLCC computer science teacher

(BEDFORD) - North Lawrence Career Center computer science teacher Jason Harding, who received a three-day suspension, has resigned and issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Harding was given a three-day suspension in connection with an Indiana Department of Education audit that is taking place at the school.

Officials seized computer hard drives from the school as evidence in the case.

Also placed on administrative leave during the investigation were Glenn Weil, the career center's director, and Kim Magness, career center counselor during the investigation into state reporting inconsistencies.

Officials say Harding removed a computer from the school office without permission and refused to return the computer to school personnel after being directed by an administrator to do so.

He was suspended for insubordination.

Harding, in his letter of resignation as NLCC computer science teacher, disputed the claim and posted:

"I cannot and will not work for an administration who puts my integrity into question. During my time as a teacher, I have never performed any questionable actions and always put my students first. It saddens me to resign from a position that I was passionate about, but the undue stress the administration has put on me has left me no other choice."

Harding claims the allegations against him are "misleading and false."

"The computer in question is a computer that belonged in my classroom. I loaned it out temporarily for the front office to use. On Friday, April 6, 2018, I needed the computer back for an adult education class. Once I realized I was being asked about that computer, I told them immediately that the computer was in my lab. The computer never left the building and was under camera surveillance the entire time it was in my possession. If this computer was being used in the audit of the career center, chain of custody dictates the computer should have been removed from the building and secured. I never had malicious intent with the computer. I was only trying to do my job."

North Lawrence Community Schools Superintendent Gary Conner says he became aware of the concerns during the second semester and took action. Conner has hired Indianapolis Attorney Susan Traynor Chastain to represent the school.

The Indiana Department of Education has not released information about an ongoing audit which could take several months to complete.

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