BREAKING NEWS: Thrash BOE Hearing Underway
March 17, 2016
Southern Torch (3351 articles)
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BREAKING NEWS: Thrash BOE Hearing Underway

ThrashBy: Joseph M. Morgan

RAINSVILLE, Ala.—As of 5 p.m. tonight, Thursday March 17, 2016 the DeKalb BOE meeting has begun. Coach Neal Thrash will finally get his day before the DeKalb County BOE regarding his dismissal as Fyffe’s head coach by DeKalb Superintendent Hugh Taylor. Taylor dismissed Thrash as Fyffe’s head coach in April 2014, citing allegations of misconduct and bullying that he said were uncovered by an internal investigation following one of the most successful seasons in school history.

Traditionally, such a matter would be taken before the full board of DeKalb County Schools for a hearing, allowing the employee in question an opportunity to defend themselves and have their voice heard. As he was not given such an opportunity, Thrash filed a civil suit against the superintendent and the BOE for improperly placing him on leave and depriving him of the right to a hearing before the board.

Ninth Circuit Judge Jeremy Taylor presided over the original case in 2014, Thrash vs. DeKalb County BOE. After hearing the case, Judge Taylor ruled that Thrash was improperly suspended and gave an order that he be given a full hearing before the board and set an official hearing date for Nov. 17, 2014.

BOE attorneys immediately filed an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, asking for a dismissal and delaying any court proceedings pending the higher court’s decision. It would take almost an entire year for the Alabama Supreme Court to make their ruling, eventually dismissing the BOE’s appeal in late 2015. The case was recently sent back to Judge Taylor in the Ninth Circuit where he heard oral arguments from attorneys on both sides in a January summary judgement proceeding.

After hearing arguments from each side, after almost two years of legal wrangling and waiting, Judge Taylor announced that his original ruling would stand and Thrash would be given the opportunity to state his case before the full BOE. That hearing has finally become a reality. Be sure to follow Southern Torch on Facebook and Twitter as we report live from the DeKalb County BOE. What will the board decide? Tonight is the night. Stay tuned.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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