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Appeal results in three-day suspension for SES teacher
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The DeKalb County School Board - photo by Photo by: Reed Vanderpool
Smithville Elementary School physical education instructor Brad Hendrix, who was given a one-day suspension without pay for "neglect of duty" and "insub-ordination," appealed the decision Friday at a special hearing before the school board and was awarded an additional two-day suspension under the same terms.The board not only voted 5-0 to let the previous the one-day suspension stand, they then made the decision to suspend Hendrix for two more days without pay, with one member saying, “He needs something else to get his attention.”The board voted 4-1 to approve the two-day suspension, with Doug Stephens casting the only dissenting vote.Members Kenny Rhody and Billy Miller were absent.The initial suspension was imposed by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and was upheld on a later appeal.Hendrix may appeal the board's decision to the Chancery Court within 20 days.Hendrix was originally suspended in December after he left a field trip to Chuck E. Cheese in Murfreesboro early without getting the permission of SES Principal Dr. Bill Tanner.Hendrix appealed Willoughby's decision and Hearing Officer Robert G. Wheeler, Jr. heard the case on Feb. 27.Wheeler later released a report on his "Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law" upholding Director Willoughby's suspension.Hendrix then exercised his right to an appeal with the Board of EducationHendrix has admitted that he left the location of the field trip, held on Dec. 9 of last year, to attend a his daughter's middle school basketball game. Wheeler opined in his report that Hendrix “did not specifically ask permission of the assistant principal nor Principal Dr. Tanner to go to Mur-freesboro by himself or to leave early."He also mentioned in the report that Tanner “testified that on several previous occasions, Hendrix would come to him and ask for permission to leave early for various reasons, some of which pertained to his ailing father, and some of which were due to Hendrix building or re-modeling a house. “It came to the point that Dr. Tanner instructed Hendrix to come and ask him directly if he needed to leave, that he was not simply to leave word with a secretary or a bookkeeper when he was going to leave during the workday.