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Schools Director Faces Possible Public Reprimand

Schools Director Faces Possible Public Reprimand
Posted at 6:30 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 20:52:47-04

Metro Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph faces a possible public reprimand from the State Board of Education.

It stems from the district's handling of a teacher's physical altercation with a student.

That incident was first revealed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

Our investigation first revealed how the principal of Overton High School wanted to fire coach Arnett Bodenhamer after he got into a verbal and physical altercation with a student, then tried to cover it up.

Joseph changed that punishment to a five-day suspension.

But, according to the Tennessee State Board of Education, that suspension was never reported to the state, as required by law.

Video obtained by NewsChannel 5 shows Bodenhamer pushing the student, then having to be physically restrained by another teacher.

The State Board of Education confirmed that, after officials there saw our story, they realized that Bodenhamer's suspension had never been reported to them.

They contacted Metro Schools, and the district formally notified the state this week.

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Now, the State Board of Education has opened up its own investigation into the incident.

According to the Board, "It is the responsibility of the Director of Schools or their designee to inform the Office of Educator Licensure of any licensed educators who have been suspended, dismissed or have resigned following allegations of misconduct which, if substantiated, would warrant consideration for license suspension or revocation under our rule."

District have 30 days to report such incidents.

State law says the State Board of Education "may issue a public reprimand if a director fails to make a report" that's required by law.

"The State Board shall send a copy of the reprimand to the director and a copy to the local board of education, charter school, governing body, or nonpublic school governing body as applicable."

It's not clear when that all might happen.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Metro Schools for comment, but did not receive a response.

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NC5 Investigates: Metro Schools