BLOUNTVILLE — Former Sullivan Central High School trainer Matthew Hawn’s newest termination appeal will go before the Sullivan County school board in mid-December.
“The complaint presented by the former director of Sullivan County Schools in no way accurately reflects how I taught my contemporary issues class in the 20-21 school year,” Hawn stated in a Monday morning information launch.
Hawn’s appeal listening to before the Board of Education is about for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14. The assembly within the first-floor assembly room of the well being and schooling constructing, 154 Blountville Bypass, is open to the general public.
“When presenting my case on December 14th, I believe the members of the Sullivan County BOE will understand this distinction and recognize my efforts in creating a (contemporary affairs) classroom environment that asks our students to evaluate, analyze and think critically about the issues of our modern society,” Hawn stated within the information launch.
If the school board upholds the Oct. 22 ruling of neutral listening to officer Dale Conder, Hawn’s subsequent transfer could be an appeal to Sullivan County Chancery Court.
The authentic June 8 vote to terminate Hawn’s employment on the advice of then-Director David Cox was 6-1, with member Matthew Spivey saying what he heard on the board assembly before the vote didn’t rise to the extent of firing.
A March 4 vote to uphold a written reprimand of Hawn was 6-0 with one abstention. Then-member Randall Gilmore abstained as a result of Hawn had contacted Gilmore concerning the reprimand when it first occurred.
Gilmore not too long ago resigned his seat on the board as a result of he moved exterior his school board district, and that seat hasn’t been stuffed. Board lawyer Pat Hull has stated with six members on the board, it nonetheless would take 4 votes to reject the neutral listening to officer’s ruling. With three votes or much less, Hull stated, the unique determination would stand.
Current Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski, who took over the place after Cox retired June 30, despatched out a press release when Conder made the ruling in assist of that motion.
CONDER RULED FOR SCHOOL BOARD
“Based on the testimony and the exhibits, I conclude that the Sullivan County Board of Education met its burden of establishing its grounds for terminating Matthew Hawn,” Conder wrote in a 10-page Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law dated Oct. 22.
“The record establishes that Mr. Hawn failed to follow the Teacher Code of Ethics and in doing so acted unprofessionally,” Conder wrote. “Furthermore, Mr. Hawn was insubordinate in that he failed to follow the reprimand that prohibited him from using materials with inappropriate language. And failing to present varying viewpoints, despite knowing he was to do so, was insubordinate conduct.”
HAWN IS TENURED
The listening to is being held as a result of Hawn, a social research trainer and baseball coach, is interesting the choice Conder made Oct. 22.
Hawn, a Sullivan North High School graduate, stated he was dismissed by Sullivan County Schools May 5, 2021, the identical day the Tennessee legislature handed what a press release from Hawn stated was its “anti CRT” or invoice banning the educating of essential race concept.
Critical race concept is someplace between giving an understanding of how American racism has formed public coverage or a divisive discourse that pits blacks towards whites, relying on political views.
Among different issues, Cox stated Hawn confirmed a profanity-laced video on white privilege to college students and didn’t efficiently mute out the language.
Cox additionally stated Hawn didn’t present assignments on opposing or differing views, though Hawn has stated there isn’t a respectable opposing viewpoint saying white privilege doesn’t exist.
The case has drawn nationwide media consideration. Central and two different county excessive faculties merged in August to kind West Ridge High School, which doesn’t provide a recent affairs course.
Conder’s ruling upheld the dismissal, based mostly on a three-day listening to held Aug. 16, 17 and 18. Because Hawn is a tenured trainer, who has 16 years with the system, he’s afforded an appeals course of by Tennessee Code 49-5-512.
“I continue to disagree with the assertion made by certain administrators throughout this case that ‘varying viewpoints’ concerning race must fit into a particular political belief system,” Hawn stated. “Any premise that would classify different ideas and perspectives as simply ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ only contributes to the political divide, a divide I have successfully kept out of my classroom for 16 years.
“Furthermore, I have never asked my students their political affiliations nor graded them on subscribing to a belief or idea presented in class.
“The goal of my contemporary issues class is to challenge students to think critically about problems we face as a community, as a nation, and as a world. I continue to believe our students should have the opportunity to listen to and hear from varying perspectives and question them as they learn.”
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Cox, who has declined touch upon the matter, stated in the course of the course of that Hawn was a superb trainer however was insubordinate and didn’t observe insurance policies. Hawn was warned before receiving a written reprimand.