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Rock Gone: But For Good?
By ANDREW LOGSDON | firstname.lastname@example.org
An update to a WFFT exclusive story we've been following for two weeks now.
A controversial rock in Paulding, Ohio, is now gone as of this weekend.
Two weeks ago, Paulding resident Barry Vance stood before school board members and alleged former middle school teacher Don Schnepp raped him as a student thirty years ago.
After Schnepp's suicide in 2004, teachers placed a memorial rock in front of the school.
"The rock has been removed. We put it in a safe place. It's become a distraction to the current students, and staff. And in the best interest of the community, and the school district, we have moved the rock,” says Paulding Exempted Village Schools Superintendent William Hanak.
In this spot here is where the rock honoring former teacher Don Schnepp used to sit.
But as of Saturday morning, as you can see, it's gone.
It began at the Paulding schools monthly meeting on April 29th.
For the first time, Barry Vance spoke publicly, saying Schnepp raped him 32 years ago inside the middle school.
He asked the school board to remove the memorial rock- to never memorialize Schnepp in the future- and to put policies in place regarding teacher-student conduct.
On April 30th, WFFT uncovered that the Paulding County Coroner had ruled Schnepp's 2004 death a suicide, which was unknown to the community at the time.
Over the next week, many of you discussed it at length on Facebook- debating the merits of the claims, and what the school board should do with the rock.
On May 7th, calls went out for more alleged victims to speak out publicly.
And on May 8th, another did.
Defiance resident Dave Kinkade made similar allegations on Facebook, then to WFFT.
Kinkade claims Schnepp had allegedly molested him over thirty years ago as well.
Then, early Saturday morning, the rock was gone.
"We made as a board and the superintendent a decision, a conscious decision to put the rock in a safe place. We don't need vandals, we don't need people coming and stealing the rock, so the rock has been put away indefinitely until some other major decision can be decided. And it doesn't have to be decided tomorrow or the next day. It could be well down the road,” Hanak says.
"I'd like to see it destroyed. I'd like to see it taken right out here to the Lafarge and put through the metal and destroyed. I don't want somebody to tell me that they removed it permanently even when they did. I want to see it,” Vance says.
So, the rock is gone, but what should happen to it?
Will school board officials put it back or destroy it?
Let us know on our Facebook page.