Jefferson Co. teacher may have license stripped over sex charges
The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Monday to ask the state to revoke the teaching certificate of an educator accused of having sex with students.
Former Jefferson High School choir teacher Joel Ziler, 29, of Martinsburg was charged last month with two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian and another count of soliciting a minor via computer.
Ziler’s interactions with Jefferson High students were called into question during the investigation of drama teacher Steve Glendenning’s, suicide June 8 on the stage of the JHS auditorium.
During the West Virginia State Police investigation two 17-year-old girls came forward and claimed they had both engaged in sexual relations with Ziler at his home.
The first alleged victim told her parents she had sex with Ziler in April. It was later discovered the girl’s friend had also allegedly engaged in sexual relations with Ziler in June.
Ziler faces two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian as well as a single count of soliciting a minor via computer.
Ziler submitted his resignation weeks ago, but the Jefferson County school board voted Monday to deny his request.
Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson, superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, said this will be the first time the board has ever taken these measures toward a teacher.
“I can’t give a time frame of how long it will take the state to give us a decision on whether or not Mr. Ziler’s teaching certificate will be revoked, because this board has never had to petition the state to revoke a teacher’s license before,” she said.
If convicted, Ziler faces 10 to 20 years in prison on each of the sexual abuse charges, and 2 to 10 years for the solicitation charge.