Hamilton Co. School Board Creates New Citizens' Committee to Help Stop Bullying


Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith board has recently announced schools would make an extra effort to crack down on school bullying in the wake of the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman at a cabin in Gatlinburg on December 22nd.

On Wednesday, Dr. Greg Martin, District 3 Representative for the Hamilton County School Board and Chairman of its Policy Committee, announced that he has named a Special Citizen's Advisory Committee to help with that effort.

Dr. Martin says the committee will help the School Board with a comprehensive review of its policies and procedures concerning Discrimination, Harassment/Hazing, Bullying/Intimidation, Field Trips, Extracurricular Activities and related matters in Hamilton County's schools.

Dr. Martin says the committee will include the following community and education leaders:

  • Garrick Hall, Wrestling Coach, Hixson High School - Chairman of the Committee
  • Wayne Brown, President, Bridge-n-the-Gap
  • Grant Crosslin, Community Volunteer
  • Everlina Holmes, UnifiED
  • Judge Rob Philyaw, Hamilton County Juvenile Court
  • Marcus Perez, Owner of Elite Behavior Analysis
  • Lee Rogers, Parent and Community Volunteer

Dr. Martin says this Special Citizen's Advisory Committee will work in partnership with the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council and the Hamilton County Council of PTA, and will make a series of recommendations to the Board's Policy Committee on how the School Board can improve its "code of conduct" policies for students, employees of the school system and school volunteers.

The public is also invited to address the Board on this issue during one of its next two public meetings at 5:00 on January 14 and 5:30 on January 21 in the Board Room of the Central Office at 3074 Hickory Valley Road.

"During the past three weeks, I have listened to people across Hamilton County raise concerns about providing an environment where all of our students feel safe and secure, whether they are in our public schools or participating in an offsite extracurricular activity," Dr. Martin said. "Forming this Special Citizen's Advisory Committee is the first of several actions that I hope will reassure parents and the community overall that the School Board is taking the necessary steps to address this issue so a similar event does not happen again in our school system."

Dr. Martin continued, "I believe our school system is best served when we have input from professionals inside the system and people who work outside of the school system but have children in our public schools. I am grateful for the willingness of all of these people to serve the public for the greater good of our community, and I look forward to reviewing their final recommendations on changes that need to be made in our policies and procedures."

The next public meeting for Board's Policy Committee is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Jan 14th at 3074 Hickory Valley Road.

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