Charges not pursued in incident involving school board's Howard
BERRYVILLE -- The city prosecutor has declined to press charges against a school board member accused of assaulting Berryville Middle School Principal Shelly Pogue.
According to a report filed by Officer Craig Hicks, of the Berryville Police Department, the two were involved in a dispute on Jan. 17 in Pogue's office.
The incident was also witnessed by school counselor Linda Winkle, and Hicks gathered accounts from all three in his report.
According to those accounts, Todd Howard had approached the principal to discuss a student she referred to the court system for excessive absences. He said he thought the student had been "hammered," and that many others in the school had been similarly dealt with.
Poage reportedly told Howard she had followed school board policy and state laws, and then declined to discuss the matter further, citing student confidentiality protections.
It is not clear what happened next. However the report states that, in the ensuing discussion, Pogue told Howard she felt he was trying to intimidate her.
Howard then stood up, shook her hand across the desk and told her that if he were trying to intimidate her, she would know it. Then, according to the report, he left.
On his way out of the building, Howard ran into Hicks and told him Pogue was looking for him. He told the officer that Pogue felt he "was trying to intimidate and threaten her" and had complained that he damaged her hand.
He told Hicks he did have a firm hand shake.
According to the officer's report, Pogue was willing to file charges against Howard. However, Berryville Prosecutor Shane Kerr later decided the charges were "unfounded" and declined to pursue them.