clear
Wednesday July 1st, 2015 2:38AM

Schofield: We will 'carefully, deliberately' investigate allegations

By Mitch Clarke, Editor
Superintendent Will Schofield said Wednesday that Hall County Schools will seriously investigate allegations made by an atheist group that religion has become unconstitutionally infused in the Chestatee High School football program.<br /> <br /> In an interview on WDUN's "Morning Talk," Schofield suggested the school district is on solid legal ground, but he said the letter from the American Humanist Association Appignani Humanist Legal Center gives the district a chance to be certain is following the law.<br /> <br /> "The first reaction I've got to a letter like we got yesterday from a group in Washington, D.C., is to take a deep breath and as a school district, we'll take it seriously. We'll start asking some questions and we'll want to see if we're staying within the letter and the spirit of the law," Schofield said.<br /> <br /> In the letter, the AHA says that they "have been informed that the school's football coaches have been using their position to promote Christianity on the football team by integrating Bible verses into functional team documents and team promotions in various ways."<br /> <br /> The complaint came from a "concerned citizen" who has asked to remain anonymous. The letter was addressed to Superintendent of Hall County Schools Will Schofield, Board of Education Chairman Nath Morris and Chestatee Principal Suzanne Jarrard.<br /> <br /> Schofield said some of the letter's allegations are worth investigating, but he said many of the allegations are off base.<br /> <br /> "We need to be very careful, very deliberate and do this in a very defendable manner," the superintendent said. "There was an awful lot in that letter that I don't think has any legal basis. There are some things that we do need to look at so we are sure we are doing things the right way."<br /> <br /> Schofield said he fully supports the school system's employees, and he cited the system's mission statement, "Character, competency and rigor for all."<br /> <br /> "That character piece is above all the most important thing we do," Schofield said. "I will stand with our 3,400 employees. We realize that these are not our children. They belong to this community and we want to support this community by helping to raise the next generation."<br /> <br /> Schofield suggested changes would be made if necessary, but he said he and the school board would defend the system if its actions are found to be within the law.<br /> <br /> "Unfortunately, when school systems get letters like this and people start rattling sabers, usually the first reaction by a lot of school districts is, oh my, goodness, we don't want to be in the news, we don't want to be sued, so we better stop doing whatever we are doing," Schofield said. "I don't think that will be the first reaction of the Hall County School Board."<br />
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 5 months ago )
Local/State News
Sponsors step in to preserve Glorious Fourth of July in Demorest
Demorest officials are gearing up for the city's annual Glorious Fourth of July Celebration, set for Saturday.
10:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
Christie promises blunt campaign as he enters 2016 contest
LIVINGSTON, N.J. (AP) — A tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his 2016 campaign for president Tuesday with a promise to tell voters the truth even if it makes them cringe.The Republi...
8:42PM ( 5 hours ago )
LISTEN: Library Board names McKinney as new director
The Hall County Library Board has selected the interim Library Director to fill the position permanently.
6:44PM ( 7 hours ago )
Forsyth Co. SO investigating rainbow flag burning as hate crime
A northwest Forsyth County homeowner woke up Tuesday morning and discovered someone had taken their rainbow flag and set it on fire.
4:57PM ( 9 hours ago )
Hall Co. Finance Director Neikirk resigns
Hall County Finance Director Vickie Neikirk has resigned.
4:53PM ( 9 hours ago )