Today: Mostly sunny with a high in the low 70s. Wind from the Southwest 5-10 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear with a low around 50. Light wind.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny with the high again in the low ... More...
Parents Say Signal Mountain Principal Disrespected
Parents of students at Signal Mountain High School are standing up for their principal who was just suspended without pay a few weeks before his scheduled retirement.
Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Rick Smith said Dr. Tom McCullough violated school board policy after a much-talked-about senior trip.
Parents are circulating a petition asking Smith to lift the suspension. They say a 42-year career in it's final days has been unfairly tarnished.
"It's just really unfathomable that this decision was made to end such a distinguished career," Signal Mountain parent Paul Smith said.
Smith helped start the petition in part do defend Dr. McCullough's career and to persuade Smith to allow McCullough to finish his last few weeks with dignity. Hundreds of parents stand in support of McCullough and the petition.
Lisa Shander, a parent of two Students, said "I hate to see him publicly humiliated this way."
Smith's letter to McCullough reads in part "you... breached your duty as principal to understand and comply with Hamilton County School Board policy."
This all stems from a March senior trip in the Bahamas where five Signal Mountain educators serving as chaperones consumed alcohol. It wasn't around students but during their own time away from students. Since it was a school sponsored trip the educators were considered to be "on the clock."
Smith went on to say "...you failed to initially report these violations to any Central Office personnel or to reprimand the chaperones in any way."
The five educators got a year suspension.
"I understand that he didn't follow policy exactly but if you are going to start suspending people without pay for not following policy then I think all of the educators here in Hamilton County have something to be worried about because I know people make decisions based on what's right for their student population," Shander said.
Paul Smith added "of course there were mistakes made, some poor decisions made, but after reading the letter from Superintendent Smith I think the decision to suspend Dr. McCullough is way too harsh and out of line."
Parents point to SMHS's success under McCullough's leadership -- academically, in sports, graduation rates and earning International Baccalaureate School status.
"I just thought that the letter was completely disrespectful to his long career and they should just put that suspension aside and let him retire," parent Lisa Crowder said.
Dr. McCullough tells us he will wait until after June 30 to speak publicly.
In the meantime the Tennessee State Board of Education is expected to ease the penalties against the five educators during their July 27 meeting. The educators were looking at a one-year suspension but the Board's attorney said they're want that cut to six months for two of them with the other three getting formal reprimands.
Parents Say Signal Mountain Principal Disrespected
- TN/GA Regional News
- National News
- International News
- Man dies in police custody during breath test
- Man falls off waterfall in north Georgia mountains
- 1 Fantasy 5 player wins $177,364.02 jackpot
- Atlanta officials to unveil regional heath guide
- Ga. gov candidates talk ethics during 2nd debate
- Georgia Gov. Deal forming Ebola response team
- Researchers seek to combat bat disease
- Boston man pleads guilty to LA, GA drug charges
- UGA postpones visit from Liberian journalist
- Ga. agency upgrading phone system to meet demand
- City to address violence near NH pumpkin fest
- Michelle Knight says she now forgives kidnapper
- Do remains belong to missing Virginia student?
- Obama keeps his schedule clear to focus on Ebola
- Lawyers due in court in marathon bombing case
- NY Gov. Cuomo raises profile -- but for what?
- Survey: Pay raises rarer despite strong US hiring
- Ana downgraded to tropical storm; Hawaii relaxes
- 10 Things to Know for Monday
- Hawaii residents relax as hurricane threat eases
- Vatican warns of 'new genocide' by IS
- Powerful explosion rocks rebel-held Ukrainian city
- Spain says 60 migrants enter African enclave
- Mozambique vote counting stops amid fraud worries
- Kerry: 'Irresponsible' not to aid Kurds against IS
- Germany arrests 2 over IS, Syria rebel links
- Jews buy homes in contested Arab area of Jerusalem
- Top Iraq Shiite cleric backs PM's fight against IS
- Attacks on Afghan checkpoints kill 4 troops
- Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
This N ThatLearn about the latest in community affairs and great events with Brian Smith on This 'N That.
Educator of the WeekNominate now for Educator Of The Week!
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!