HARDIN — Trustees on the Hardin Public Schools Board voted unanimously Wednesday night to fire the art teacher accused last month of hiding a gun for one of her students.
Nora Block, who taught art at Hardin High School, was arrested earlier this month on a felony tampering with evidence charge and two misdemeanors after she allegedly hid the gun in her classroom overnight and turned it over to authorities the next day.
The Hardin School Board met Wednesday night in a special meeting to decide Block's fate. In a unanimous decision, trustees voted to terminate, ending Block's employment.
"She's no longer employed with the district," said Kym Kern, the district clerk.
The incident began Jan. 26, a Friday, when school officials responded to a report that Uttekaat Isaiah Jade Birdinground, a student, had a gun at school and was sitting in Block's classroom.
Birdinground, 17, was arrested days after the incident and charged with felony attempted robbery and two misdemeanors, carrying a concealed weapon and having a weapon in a school building.
According to charging documents, Birdinground had come into the school that Friday and sat in Block’s classroom nearly three hours before he was removed by a teacher. He did not attend his regularly scheduled classes that day; he was not registered in Block’s class.
No gun was found on the student, but sheriff's deputies returned to the school Saturday and were told Block had found the gun while cleaning the classroom, according to the charges.
On Monday, Jan. 29, another student interviewed by officers said he had found the gun Friday and had given it to the teacher. Block declined to be interviewed that day, but came to a meeting later that night and told school officials she had lied about finding the gun, the documents state.
The school principal told investigators Block admitted to leaving the gun in her desk overnight, then on Saturday taking the gun out of her desk and placing it under a student's desk before reporting the weapon found.
The Board of Trustees met Feb. 13 to decide whether to retain Block, but postponed the decision until Wednesday. The Board also voted to expel a student at that first meeting. Board chair Jodeen Marston declined to name the student, citing student privacy concerns.
Block and Birdinground are scheduled for arraignment in Big Horn County District Court on Tuesday.