Board asks Jennings to look at termination policy

It appears that the district management does not feel that it is right or necessary to explain to an employee the reason or reasons for termination, Bush said.

During the June commission meeting, Davis was adamant that he would not discuss personnel issues in a public forum. He said at that time, that all reasons for a termination are contained within the employees personnel file.

Bush said personnel files she and her husband have reviewed do not contain reasons for termination and also, that those terminations came as a surprise to the employee.

The practice is legal and Davis has said that top school attorneys in Tennessee have advised the board to not give reasons for terminations to avoid litigation. Bush said the fact that the practice is legal does not mean it is necessarily a good policy.

County schools nod $109 M budget request

Wilson County Board of Education unanimously passed its 2012-2013 fiscal year budget during Monday nights regular meeting, which includes state-mandated 2.5-percent raises for teachers and support personnel, as well as 10 new teaching positions.

The budget calls for estimated expenditures totaling $109,186,708 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

It includes $2,203,743 to cover state-mandated pay raises for teachers and $360,557 for raises for support staff. The board also approved funds to create 10 new teaching positions to adjust for student population growth. The 10 positions will cost the system $480,955.

The board retained 28 math and reading coaches as well, which were originally funded through stimulus money.

The budget now goes to Wilson County Commissions Education Committee. The panel must approve it then send it to the commissions Budget Committee which must approve it, also.

The school systems budget, along with those of other county departments and offices, must be approved by the full county commission after a public hearing is held before it becomes final.

There are many practices and activities in life that are legal but they are still bad and generally we try to avoid them, Bush said. Hiding behind the legality of a practice does not make it a best practice for any organization.

Bush asked the board to review the policy and to consider new policies that would provide county school employees with reasons for their termination and what they can do to improve.

We are professional teachers and we have failed to even try to teach our professional colleagues how to teach better, Bush said.

Bush asked that the county schools consider putting a policy in place that would require an exit interview for all employees and that the reasons the employee was terminated be communicated to the employee at that time.

He also asked the board to review the practice of placing a do not rehire note in personnel files and if one is placed in a file, that reasons for the note be documented. Also, Bush asked the board to review all terminations in the past three years and reevaluate whether the do not rehire note is necessary.

The board asked Jennings to look at the policies and consult with other school board attorneys as well. Board Chairman Don Weathers said they would look to see what changes could be made that would fit within the boards present personnel policies.

Also during the meeting, the board presented 97-year-old World War II Veteran and Vietnam Veteran James R. Jewell with a diploma from Lebanon High School. Jewell served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, at Guadalcanal, the Philippines and more.

Its an honor and a privilege to do this, Davis said.

Also, a draft of an agreement between Wilson County Schools and the Tennessee Board of Regents concerning the TBRs use of the Vocational Center at the old LHS campus for a technical center was put on hold.

Jennings told The Wilson Post that each board member had a draft of the agreement, but said he was still receiving feedback from the board and the TBR. He said the TBR would review the agreement on Tuesday.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at