Teacher fired for relationship with student loses bid for school board seat


A teacher fired for an inappropriate relationship with a student has failed in his fight to join the school board that fired him.

Mark Bollinger was fired from his teaching job with River Valley Schools in 2015 and just last month the State Board of Education voted to permanently revoke his teaching license.

The student graduated in May of 2015 but said her "make out" sessions with Bollinger began before that, and Bollinger admitted to sexual contact with her a few months after her graduation.

Losing his job and his teaching license do not prevent him from holding a seat on the board of education, which is what he's trying to achieve tonight.

He is one of three candidates on the ballot vying for three open seats.

The only thing that could prevent him from getting elected tonight is the write-in candidacy of a fourth candidate, Bob Stump.

The Marion County Board of Elections says Stump has overtaken Bollinger for that third open seat.

Bollinger issued the following statement:

"I respect the voters decision and wish the new board members the best. I hope Mr. Stump fulfills his entire term as promised rather than resigning so a former board member can be reappointed. River Valley has a multitude of serious issues which need to be addressed immediately. The Board of Education and leadership at River Valley have an obligation to the students and residents of this district to be completely accountable and transparent. I hope all the individuals will fulfill their responsibilities and enforce district policy for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status or association to district leadership."