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Toombs BOE Hearing Blocked
Wednesday, 20 February 2013

February 20--  A re-hearing in the case of a suspended Toombs County teacher has been blocked by a court order.

Toombs County Superior Court Judge Bobby Reeves issued a 30-day temporary restraining order against the Toombs County school board late Tuesday.  It prevents a school board hearing which had been scheduled for teacher and soccer coach Jimmy Price for Thursday night, February 21.

On February 7 the school board suspended Price for 90 days without pay and ordered him to make restitution of more than $3,500 missing from fund raisers conducted by his soccer team.  He was also cited for leaving a student unattended at a local health clinic.

According to Price's attorney, the school board's punishment violated state law.

"When they conduct these hearings, they can do one of three things at the end of it.  They can terminate the teacher's contract, they can suspend the teacher without pay for up to 60 days or they can reinstate the teacher.  Those are the only three remedies the statute gives them," says Reidsville attorney Hugh McCullough.

A week after the initial hearing, School Superintendent Dr. Kim Corley made a motion that the school board reconsider its decision on Price on the grounds that it was contrary to law. 

On February 19, Price appealed the local board's decision to the Georgia Board of Education for exceeding its authority under state law.  His appeal says the school board cannot suspend him for more than 60 days nor can it order financial restitution.

Judge Reeves has scheduled a hearing on the restraining order for February 28th in Toombs County Superior Court.

"At that time, I will be arguing that he should continue the restraining order.  If he lifts it, then presumably the board would be free to continue as they intended to," McCullough reports.

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