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Williams High School teacher suspended
Sheldon White placed on administrative leave after locking three students in art room closet

Williams High School. Photo/WGCN

Williams High School. Photo/WGCN

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The Williams School Board members suspended Williams High School (WHS) teacher Sheldon White for the remainder of the fall semester after he locked three students in a storage closet for over 30 minutes Oct. 3. Board members made the decision during an executive session of the Williams School Board meeting Nov. 14.

According to information from the Williams Police Department, the students were going in and out of the closet and White, a 17-year employee with the school district, told them to stop. When they would not come out, White locked the students in the closet for the remainder of the period.

The students contacted WHS Principal Tristan Heisley, who notified the school superintendent, parents, and police. The Williams Police Department investigated the incident. The Coconino County Attorney's office eventually turned down charges of unlawful imprisonment filed by the Williams Police Department.

Immediately following the incident, the board placed White on paid administrative leave.

Police Chief Herman Nixon, also a school board member, recused himself when the Board considered disciplinary action. The four remaining school board members, initially deadlocked over whether to fire White, agreed to a settlement during executive session. White will be suspended without pay for a total of 19 days and will return to work in January.

After the executive session, School Board President Kristi Fredrickson said that she felt the punishment was appropriate.

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