UPDATE Jan. 3, 2019: Tommy Layne has been reinstated as principal of Sequatchie County High School, after his recent demotion.

Superintendent Michael (Pete) Swafford says he made the decision after speaking with Layne last month. 

Layne says he still intends to retire after the current school year.


PREVIOUS STORY: Tommy Layne, the former principal at Sequatchie County High School, is speaking for the first time since he was removed from his job.

A picture of players holding the jerseys of former Grundy High School sparked outrage from the community.

Sequatchie football players held the jerseys of two teammates on senior night, representing two of the five players charged last year in Grundy County with attempted aggravated rape of a teammate.

We're learning now those students are the reason behind principal Layne’s removal, but Layne says the allegations are not true.  

"I want my job back. I want my name cleared. After 49 and a half years I deserve that," urged Layne.

A letter to Layne from Director of Schools Michael (Pete) Swafford states Layne was removed from his position because he knowingly allowed at least one student to play football who should not have been allowed to take the field.

Channel 3 has confirmed through multiple sources and rosters two former Grundy County High School players who were charged last year with attempted aggravated rape of a teammate, have been playing for Sequatchie high this season.

The letter states Layne told Swafford records for two transfer students quote “did not indicate that these students were subject to any disciplinary action."

Layne said that's not true. He claims Swafford knew the students and knew they were playing.

"Yes. He knew they were playing,” urged Layne, “And he knew what we put them in school under because we informed him of it."

The letter states the two students were actually under long-term suspension.

The school system provided us with two letters they said they sent Layne. However, both letters are marked with the same date, October 29th.

And Layne said he just received the formal letter Thursday, which was post marked November 7.

"You don't know what to say or what to do,” Layne said, “I was blindsided by something and I was transferred without cause."

Channel 3 was at the board of education Friday, but Swafford was busy.

After speaking with Layne we reached back out to his office again for a response or a statement, but we have not heard back.

Layne said he plans to take legal action if necessary to clear his name. He was set to retire at the end of the year. His transition to teaching started October 29th.

The TSSAA said if a student is eligible to attend school, they are eligible to play any sport.

However, if a student has been moved to another school district because of serious disciplinary reasons, that student is not eligible to play.

Any school that knowingly breaks these rules forfeits their season and receives a fine. It's unclear right now if this will happen to Sequatchie County High School.