FIRST ON 3: McCullough's suspension lifted by Supt. Rick Smith - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: McCullough's suspension lifted by Supt. Rick Smith

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Dr. Tom McCullough Dr. Tom McCullough
Supt. Rick Smith Supt. Rick Smith

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Just days after an online petition attracted hundreds of signatures, Hamilton County School Superintendent Rick Smith has lifted an unpaid suspension he had imposed on former Signal Mountain Middle/High principal Dr. Tom McCullough. 

Smith had suspended McCullough for the final 44 days of his contract, claiming the principal had not followed district policy in reporting the actions of seven staffers who had reportedly used alcohol on a student trip to the Bahamas.  The suspension would have cost McCullough approximately $13,000 in salary.

McCullough said he could not comment on the new development, and Smith could not be reached.

Here is the statement from Smith to School Board members:

"On Friday, May 25, 2012, at 5:02 p.m., I received a request from Dr. Tom McCullough that he be allowed to use his accrued leave in lieu of serving a suspension without pay through the end of his contract, June 30, 2012.  I had presented this very option to Dr. McCullough on Monday, May 14, 2012, even before he gave notice of his intent to retire, explaining that, in view of issues that had been developing throughout the school year, I felt the need to make an immediate change in the school administration.  When Dr. McCullough refused this option and announced his retirement, I suspended him so I could proceed with the school's administrative changes.

I have granted Dr. McCullough's request subject to the understanding that he not be on the campus of SMMHS.  Since HCDE would have paid Dr. McCullough for his accrued unused leave after his contract expired on June 30, 2012, this decision does not have any financial impact on the school system." 


Previous stories

Parents petition to overturn Signal Mountain principal's suspension

Paul Smith is the first to admit that parents differ as to whether Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith should have forced out Dr. Tom McCullough as Principal of Signal Mountain Middle & High School.

Principal McCullough suspended without pay

Citing a "continued lack of regard for procedure and policy," Hamilton County School Superintendent Rick Smith has suspended Dr. Tom McCullough from his post for the final 44 days of his contract.

State eases penalties on suspended Signal teachers

The Tennessee State Board of Education has revised its recommendation to suspend five Signal Mountain High School educators for one year.  The proposed penalties will be reduced,  according to General Counsel Dannelle Walker.

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