Courier Staff Report
A Cannon County Schools employee and baseball coach has been terminated, the Cannon Courier has learned.
Tony Stinnett, who served as ISS monitor and baseball coach at Cannon County High School since 2011, was terminated from his positions at the end of the fall semester for inappropriate conduct. Stinnett is also sports editor for The Cannon Courier.
Director of Schools Barbara Parker informed Stinnett he was terminated from his school position, could no longer coach baseball and would not be allowed any school property on Dec. 9.
“I never thought I would see this day but I (had) to terminate (Stinnett) for inappropriate conduct,” Parker said. “(He was) terminated from his position as ISS monitor, cannot coach baseball and is not allowed on any school property.”
Stinnett had requested an appeal but that was turned down because he is non-certified teacher, Parker said.
“I heard from the (school board) attorney, and there is no appeal process for non-certified employees,” Parker informed.
Stinnett said he was terminated for displaying an inappropriate photo on a school computer. The incident occurred with a student in the classroom, according to Parker.
“I had drafted a personal e-mail on my private account from home,” Stinnett told The Cannon Courier. “That e-mail did contain an inappropriate photo. I made the mistake of opening the personal e-mail to forward while at school the following Monday and the photo was displayed. There was a student in the back corner of the room when I accessed this e-mail.”
Stinnett said he did not deny the allegations and was disappointed that he put Parker in such a bad situation.
“This was a horrible mistake and a terrible lapse in judgment,” Stinnett said. “I am ashamed and embarrassed of my actions. I am more disappointed that I am no longer in a position to assist students at CCHS and not just athletes, but all of the students. I believe that is what I am most proud of during my tenure. My actions put Director of Schools Parker in a tough situation. I apologize for that. She has always been fair and supportive.”
Stinnett said it was important for him to share the facts of his case.
“It’s bad enough as it is but I don’t want people thinking it’s worse than it is in terms of their children,” Stinnett said. “My e-mail was personal and involved no student, no underage party and no one associated with CCHS or any employee within the school system.”
Stinnett said he met with the CCHS baseball team and parents of every player three days after the incident to explain his actions.
“I have always held my players accountable and I believe they deserved me to be truthful and accountable to them,” Stinnett said. “I hate this for them because they are great guys who have worked hard. I certainly believe that will continue due to the character of these young men.”
Stinnett said he initially had an opportunity to resign due to personal reasons but eventually declined that option.
“The players know I would never quit on them so the resignation wasn’t going to fly,” Stinnett said.