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Coffee County School Board Member inquires about firing director with cause

Coffee County Director of Schools Dr. Charles Lawson has sent an email to school staff stating that school board member Robert Gilley is planning to have him dismissed “with cause” before his contract is up

Wednesday, April 25, 2024 Dr. Charles Lawson, Director of Coffee County Schools, sent an email to staff stating, “I am sending this email to let the staff know that Mr. (Robert) Gilley has requested a meeting with the entire board and the board attorney to propose dismissing me for cause. I do not know the alleged “cause” that would justify such a move nor has this cause been brought up in discussion in any official board gathering. Mr. Gilley has never addressed his proposal in an open meeting. You now know everything that I know about this topic. I am simply informing the staff about the status of my contract as I know it at this time.”

Chairman of the Coffee County School Board, Dr. Gary Nester told Thunder Radio, “Mr. Gilley requested that I call an attorney client privileged meeting to remove Dr. Lawson with cause. As the board Chair since it was a request, I did have to check into it and discuss it with Charles Cagle our attorney. He gave an opinion about the legality of doing that and what the proper steps are if you wanted to release the Director of schools and basically said that that needs to be a public meeting with 15 days notice and it can’t be done behind closed doors. I sent that email to all of the board members so it is public knowledge at this point and I will not take any action because I have not heard a follow up from the board wanting to pursue this and I have heard no cause given that would justify to releasing him. “

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Thunder Radio has reached out to Mr. Robert Gilley, and he had this to say:

Lawson was hired as director of Coffee County Schools in the summer of 2019. Lawson’s contract has been brought up for renewal and failed three times – as recently as February of this year. His current contract expires in July of 2025.

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