Grundy Co. dispatcher suspended; community rallying to get job back
GRUNDY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A Grundy County 911 emergency dispatcher from Monteagle is suspended without pay, shortly after the incident at Coalmont Elementary School Monday.
"He did not do anything wrong or anything illegal except tell the truth," says Shannon Johnson.
Johnson is just one of the many parents still reeling about what happened at Coalmont Elementary Monday.
Her 9-year-old son has yet to go back to school.
"Ninety percent of us still don't know what's going on," she says.
Johnson and many others turned to Facebook that day to find out what was going on. That's where a citizen reportedly got information from dispatcher Scotty Hoosier and posted it on Facebook. Then others began to call the 911 center.
"He just said that someone had been detained and that they were questioning them," says one man who called and spoke to Hoosier.
That's where Sheriff Brent Myers says things got out of hand.
"We never had anybody in custody. We interviewed people that might have been suspects but we never had anybody locked up in jail and incarcerated," Myers says.
"A dispatcher shouldn't release any information about any case that's being investigated," Myers adds. "That's not their place to release information."
Myers says the scene that unfolded at Coalmont Elementary Monday stemmed from an incident three weeks prior when a concerned grandfather left an irate message for the school board, and then was asked not to be on school property.
Somehow he says that incident was blown out of proportion after the school shooting in Connecticut Friday.
"They were just scared to death that something was going to happen, and it all started with false information," Myers says.
Monteagle Mayor Marilyn Nixon says the city is following protocol as the investigation unfolds.
"There was no official call from Grundy County on Monday, nor any official threat that came through the 911 center Monday," Nixon says.
Meanwhile, an online petition to get Hoosier's job back is gaining attention in the community.
"He was not doing anything wrong other than protecting us and our children," Johnson says.
The District Attorney's office is also involved in the investigation.
Nixon says a hearing regarding Hoosier's job will be scheduled for the coming weeks.