John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
MACE Associates from left to right, Benjamin Barnes, Norreese Haynes, Dr. John Trotter, and David Cochran, returning from a meeting in Hart County last fall. Perhaps another MACE migration to Northeast Georgia is in order.
Hart County Principal Rob Brown — who was at the school for just one year but long enough, in my opinion, to do a lot of damage — has just accepted a job as superintendent of Jeff Davis County School System. Oh, I pity this school system, if for no other reason than he received his “mentorship” under the Hart County superintendent, Jerry Bell. Jerry Bell recommended that one of Hart County High School’s fine teachers be non-renewed. But, Mr. Bell glaringly violated due process in his apparently frenetic attempt to get this teachers out of the school system. (Next week, I will post the letter that I wrote to Mr. Bell last month, blasting his apparent incompetence when it came to the Georgia law.)
I am defintely not impressed with Rob Brown — not at all. But, when he gets down to Jeff Davis County, he will have to deal with Attorney Andy Ramay, one of my good friends and a MACE attorney (“Of Counsel” status). I just helped Mr. Ramay in his campaign for the school board. Mr. Ramay beat the Chairman of the Jeff Davis County Board of Education (a five person school board).
Brenda Jordan (left row, front) and Justin Corbett (back row, right end) voted not to uphold the superintendent’s recommendations…after a hearing that lasted for nine hours. Angie McGee (bottom right) and Paul Abernathy (second from right, back row) voted to go along with the superintendent’s recommendation. The vote was a deadlock. Therefore, as a matter of law, the teacher has retained her job. (Derek Cobb, pictured on the extreme left of top row, next to Superitendent Jerry Bell, had already resigned from the Hart County Board of Education.)
I am even less impressed with this joke of a superintendent in Hart County, Jerry Bell. Jerry Bell did not even send a non-renewal letter to the teacher with sufficient notice requirements, but he and Chairman Paul Abernathy apparently were determined to go through with the hearing anyway, despite the fact that the teachers was not given her due process rights. The school board deadlocked on a 2 to 2 vote, with members Brenda Jordan and Justin Corbett voting NOT to uphold Superintendent Bell’s recommendation and Chairman Paul Abernathy and Angie McGee voting to go along with the superintendent…as they apparently nearly always do. (Former school board member Derek Cobb had already resigned from the school board.) Therefore, Jerry Bell’s recommendation was NOT upheld. Do you reckon Jerry Bell and Chairman Paul Abernathy will try to further violate this good teacher’s rights and reputation?
When superintendents and school boards do not adhere to the Georgia Statutory Code, they make complete asses out of themselves…like the situation with Jerry Bell and the Hart County Board of Education. Chairman Paul Abernathy needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
I presume that MACE needs to head back up to Hart County to let its presence be known like we did in Macon on Wednesday. While the MACE attorney, Lowell Chatham, was apparently kicking the school board attorney, Brian Smith, all over Hart County on Wednesday, six of us on the MACE Strike Force were kicking the proverbial ass of Superintendent Romain Dallemand in Macon on the same day. It just so happens that both Jerry Bell and Romain Dallemand have been named to the Superintendent Clowns of America!