TSC Board candidate defends documented past

Jake Burton

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Just days before the election, an anonymous source gave WLFI-TV Jake Burton’s personnel file from the Tippecanoe School Corporation. The documents reveal multiple occurrences that Burton ran into during his stint at McCutcheon High School.

Burton is running against Jim Slaven for a spot on the TSC School Board, District 4.

Slaven is taking a hands-off approach when it comes to talking about Burton’s record.

“I can just speak for myself; I can’t speak for my opponent,” Slaven said.

Burton isn’t afraid of what’s inside his TSC personnel file.

“People in our community pretty much know everything about me,” Burton said.

In 1995, emails show Burton was upset about a student hissing at him. Burton explains that the hissing usually represents students addressing him as “Jake the Snake.” Burton’s file shows he allegedly called the student an expletive.

Then, in 2010, Burton emailed an administrator saying perhaps he should “drop a student where he stands” when it came to discipline.

The file also shows Burton has been kicked out of two sporting events for his behavior. Burton said that’s out of 600 games he’s attended.

“Two out of 600, to me, because you argue and it’s something that the official didn’t like and throws you out, I think is pretty good,” he said.

This 2012 report filed with the Indiana High School Athletic Association reveals after being told to leave a football game, Burton called the official a “fatso,” which Burton admits to and apologized for. That official stated he would never return to McCutcheon High School.

Later that year, at the J&C Hoops Classic, Burton was kicked out again.

“We had two kids get into it on the floor. I tried to stop that, didn’t go on the floor,” he said. “The official thought I was involved somehow as a spectator and said, ‘You’re out of the gym.’ I left.”

Burton said he isn’t proud of his actions but claims they were coming from a good place.

“Anything that I’ve done that’s been related to that type of thing is because I’ve tried to do it for our kids and tried to stand up for our kids on something,” he said.

Burton said he’s learned from going too far in certain cases, but that doesn’t mean he won’t speak up when he disagrees with something.

“It may not be a 7-0 vote on everything, because I may not be on that side of things,” he said.

That’s what Burton says he brings to the table – an outside look from someone who was on the inside for 41 years.