School board sets stage for removing director of schools

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After hearing the father of a football player call for changes in the program led by the son of Cannon County Board Education chairman Bruce Daniel on Thursday night, Daniel scheduled a special meeting of the board on Nov. 30 to consider another change -- the transferring of Director of Schools Barbara Parker to a different position within the system.

Reading from local school board policy, Daniel said, "the Board shall hold such special meetings as necessary to transact business of the board. Such meetings shall be called by the chair whenever in the chair's judgement the interest of the schools requires it or when requested to do so by a majority of the board.

"Pursuant to Cannon County Board of Education policy 1.400, as chairman I am calling a special meeting of the board of education to meet on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodbury Grammar School cafeteria. The first item on the agenda will be to consider the transfer of Cannon County Director of Schools Miss Barbara Parker and any and all actions related there to. The second item on the agenda will be to appoint an interim director of schools," Daniels said.

State law requires that 15 days notice be given to hire or fire a director of schools.

Earlier in the meeting, Jesse Cunningham addressed the board about concerns players have with the CCHS football program. Cunningham was on the original agenda released by the board, but a revised agenda made at the request of Daniel had him removed. However, board member Nathan Sanders asked that Cunningham be put back on the agenda and all members accept Daniel agreed.

"First of all I want to thank the board for allowing me back on the agenda, I appreciate that," Cunningham said. "And I want to thank first of all everyone here. I think it speaks volumes. This is about Cannon County High School. This is about the students of Cannon County High School and this is about the football program. These kids work just as hard as any other county, any other school, any other high school program. But they have not been heard, they feel intimidated, so I took it upon myself to try to let them be heard and I appreciate the opportunity for that.

"I've met all the protocol. I've talked to the coaches, I've talked to the principal, I've talked to the AD, I've talked to the superintendent and I keep getting the runaround," Cunningham continued. "These kids deserve to be heard. These student bust their tail week in and week out. The football program has blatantly disregarded for the safety due to the lack of leadership that creates an atmosphere where players do not believe in the system so therefore they are not going to give 100 percent. They do not respect the system. If you had a season for the last six years ... we've had four wins in the last six years. That's not accepted nowhere in this state or in this country. That is unacceptable and its unacceptable that we are not doing the best for our kids.

"Now my agenda is for ... I've talked to the principal (Mike Jones) and he's unsure what he wants to do and that's unacceptable. We all know what's right, we all know what's wrong. We're here to do what's right, and what's right is standing up for these kids and giving them the best that we can give them. That's your (school board's) job. That's why you all are in these seats. That's why people do what they do ... do it for the kids. It's sad that I have to stand up here and do this. It's sad that these kids feel like they have to come in here and stand up for themselves but this is where we're at. It infuriates me. This is unbelievable that its took this long but something needs to be done. You all know what's right. We need to stand up for our kids," Cunningham concluded.

The board members did not comment on what Cunningham said.

Also on Thursday, Courier editor Kevin Halpern received information regarding TJ Daniel, the high school football coach and a teacher. Due to its serious nature and the requirements of state laws, Halpern gave the information to the Woodbury Police Department, the Cannon County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Department of Children's Service.

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