School board approves suspension of employee

The Chilton County Board of Education approved Tuesday a 10-day suspension without pay for a school system employee.

The board accepted Superintendent Dave Hayden’s recommendation after a open hearing for Tony Byrd with the Chilton Alternative Program, and a subsequent executive session.

Byrd requested a closed hearing, which was denied by Hayden.

Board member Keith Moore recused himself from the hearing.

The suspension was recommended after Byrd allegedly used profane language during a telephone conversation with a juvenile probation officer about the placement of a student in the CAP program.

Byrd read a statement to the board and maintained that he did not use profane language as alleged, saying the accusations were “untrue and unmerited.”

George Ramsey, chief juvenile probation officer for Chilton County District Court Judge Rhonda Hardesty, addressed the board, saying he was in the presence of the other officer when the conversation took place, and was told afterward what happened.

Ramsey contacted Clanton Middle School Principal Donny Finlayson, who was also present and addressed the board Tuesday, and the two went together to confront Byrd about the matter.

Finlayson recalled a “heated” conversation.

Byrd also said at Tuesday’s meeting that he did not receive notice of the impending hearing in time to seek legal counsel.

“I feel that this is a personal as well as a political attack against me,” Byrd said.

Board member Pam Price asked if Ramsey or Finlayson requested punishment for Byrd, and they responded in the negative.

Hayden said his recommendation was justified because the incident “compromised our relationship with the juvenile court system.”

The board voted 4-2 (with Price and Jim Shannon opposed) in favor of the recommended suspension.

Service recognized: Dave Hayden, Curtis Smith and Keith Moore were recognized and given plaques at the Chilton County Board of Education meeting Tuesday. Smith’s marked his receiving 214 hours of training to earn the “Master School Board Member” designation, while Hayden and Moore were thanked for their service as the current and former schools superintendent, respectively.

Service recognized: Dave Hayden, Curtis Smith and Keith Moore were recognized and given plaques at the Chilton County Board of Education meeting Tuesday. Smith’s marked his receiving 214 hours of training to earn the “Master School Board Member” designation, while Hayden and Moore were thanked for their service as the current and former schools superintendent, respectively.

In other business, the board:

•Heard from the father of a son and step-son at Chilton County High School who was concerned because they were suspended after riding in the back of a truck during the school’s homecoming parade. The parent said he thought the students were treated unfairly because other students rode in the backs of trucks but were not punished.

•Approved the November financial statements and bank reconciliations as presented by Chief Financial Officer Steve Yeargan.

•Approved the November payrolls and accounts payable.

•Approved minutes from the previous meeting.

•Approved distributing December payroll checks on Dec. 30.

•Approved awarding bids for supplemental groceries, technical work stations and lab system furniture, electrical control trainer system, mop and mat service, and welding supplies. Bids for fleet trucks/vans were rejected, and a request for new bids to be sent out, at Hayden’s recommendation.

•Approved the long-term placement of a Maplesville student in CAP, for 30 days beginning Jan. 6, 2015.

•Approved an unpaid leave request for Amanda Martinez, through the remainder of the school year.

•Approved Matt Martindale’s request to travel to Chicago for a national band conference from Dec. 16-19, at his own expense.

•Accepted resignations from Kendall Burnett, agriscience teacher at Clanton Middle School, effective Dec. 19; Tommie Nettles, construction equipment teacher, effective Dec. 31; Tammy Strength, parts manager at the bus shop, effective Jan. 1, 2015; and Justin Wilson, mechanic at the bus shop, effective Jan. 6, 2015.

•Approved a recommendation to allow the Alabama Clean Water Partnership to coordinate and host the third annual Water Festival for fourth grade students during the current school year.

•Approved a recommendation to permit the CCHS Gridiron Club to pay a supplement to coach Robert Bradford in the amount of $1,469.

•Accepted the resignation of Chris Johsnon as volunteer assistant director at LeCroy Career Technical Center, and approved Dara Norman to fill the position.

•Approved to post vacancies, if needed.

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