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Northwest Area teacher in gun incident quits

Northwest Area teacher Linnea Holdren’s son brought gun to school.

UNION TWP. – Northwest Area School District teacher Linnea Holdren has resigned, Superintendent Nancy Tkatch confirmed. Holdren was found guilty of endangering the welfare of children after her 11-year-old son took a loaded handgun to Hunlock Creek Elementary School about two years earlier.

Holdren was put on paid suspended leave when first charged, pending an investigation. After some legal delays, a trial was held last September and she was found guilty of endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment, but acquitted of a corruption of minors charge. After the conviction, the district put Holdren on unpaid suspension.

Tkatch said that a state Professional Standards and Practices Commission hearing was held Jan. 14. The commission can take disciplinary action ranging from a private reprimand to suspension or revocation of a teaching license. Teachers facing revocation sometimes choose to surrender their licenses instead, but the effect is essentially the same.

Tkatch said a ruling should be issued within a few weeks, but that it won’t be public for at least 30 days after that.

Holdren resigned via a brief e-mail dated Jan. 18. The e-mail says the resignation is “effective immediately.” Tkatch said the school board would probably vote on accepting the resignation at Wednesday’s meeting.

Holdren’s son, then 11, brought a loaded .22-caliber pistol to the school in 2005, and the District Attorney’s Office filed charges, contending that Holdren’s failure to secure the gun was a disregard for the safety of her son and others. Holdren and her son insisted he had brought the gun to school by mistake. They said he had been target practicing and that, in the rush to get ready for school, he forgot that he had slipped the pistol into his pocket.

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