Mid-Prairie Superindent To Stay On the Job

posted by WMT News / KCRG-TV9 -

WELLMAN, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A school superintendent who allowed a convicted sex offender to volunteer in his district gets to keep his job for another year.

Monday night, the Mid Prairie School District in Wellman renewed Superintendent Mark Schneider's contract.

Schneider allowed Trent Yoder to volunteer. He helped build sets during the last four high school plays, with the condition that another adult be present. He served a few weeks in jail and four years probation, plus ten years on the sex offender registry. Investigators say he videotaped a high school athlete changing her clothes.

Ultimately, the school board decided this was a policy issue, and not Superintendent Schneider's fault. Many people disagreed with this decision. Including a group of women from Anita, Iowa, where Yoder used to work.

"I was 12 years old , he was my teacher when he got caught," Christa Wessling said.

"He worked with the spelling bee at our school and some of us participated in that and he would pull you out of class and ask you to try on a spelling bee shirt," Nicky Bauer-Kemper said.

The women say they are survivors of Trent Yoder.

While his criminal record is for recording one teenager changing, women who spoke at tonight's meeting said he did the same thing to more than 20 other children; their classmates.

They say Mark Schneider should have never allowed a known convicted sex offender to be in the school, even with extra supervision.

Yoder volunteered with both spelling programs at Mid-Prairie and Anita schools.

"Especially since there was a spelling club and that's how I came to know him, seeing those fifth grade faces that's pretty hard," Nicky Bauer-Kemper said.

The school board announced its making a committee to draft a new policy surrounding who gets to volunteer in its schools. The first meeting will be held sometime next week.

Superintendent Schneider declined our request for an interview tonight.

He did say he'd send us a statement about what he thinks the new policy regarding volunteers should include.

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