Avon mother concerned ex-boyfriend working at school after domestic battery conviction

School has policy requiring review of convictions

AVON, Ind. - An Avon mother and school employee is raising concerns about why her ex-boyfriend is still working for the Avon Community School Corporation, despite being convicted of domestic battery.

Forrest Akers, an employee of Avon Middle School South, pleaded guilty and was convicted of domestic battery against his ex-girlfriend of nine years, Lisa Helm.

"It makes me feel like I'm being victimized all over again," said Helm. "I'm an Avon school employee too. My son is an Avon school student."

Helm works at an elementary school on the same Avon school campus as Akers, despite a no contact order against Helm.

"Continuing to work at Avon schools in the same proximity as the man who battered me is very difficult, it causes a lot of stress," said Helm, who said Akers attacked her in front of her then 15-year-old son, causing injuries. "I had to attend a meeting that was in his building."

According to court records obtained by Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney, Akers is also currently on probation for domestic battery, and is forbidden from possessing a firearm.

He was also ordered to substance abuse counseling as well as domestic violence counseling.

The Akers case came to light last week when Avon citizen Mike McGuire posted political signs criticizing school board members for employing an "abuser."

School board president Kim Woodward is facing a criminal charge for taking the signs from private property.

She has declined to be interviewed by RTV6, and she has not responded to a call and email about the criminal charge.

"I am quite reluctant to make a camera statement right now as I fear it would somehow be used to further discredit me," wrote Woodward in an email to Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney on Monday.

She posted on her Facebook page last month about Akers.

"Does he pose a threat to children? Or, other employees? No. He does not have a history of violence toward others," read Woodward's Facebook post. "I have utmost confidence that our administrative staff would never continue to employ someone who was threatening in any way."

"I'm offended by her actions and her comments, and I'm humiliated that she would take the stance of defending the man that battered me in front of my child," said Helm. "I think it's setting a terrible example for not only our Avon students but students everywhere."

After the incident with Akers, Helm said she complained to administrators.

Stacey Forcey Moore, spokeswoman for the Avon Community School Corporation, told RTV6 the superintendent was unavailable for comment and the district does not comment on personnel matters.

Moore did provide the district's policy that says the superintendent reviews employee criminal convictions and issues a recommendation to the school board about what should happen to the employee.

Helm said violent crimes should preclude someone from working near children.

"If you commit a battery on another individual, then you should not work in a school corporation," said Helm.

Akers was not home when RTV6 stopped by, and his attorney said he declined to comment about the case and the political signs.              

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