Lone Grove High School's speech and debate coach Brian Gunter's teams have won seven consecutive state championships, but Gunter recently was told he is being reassigned to Lone Grove Middle School.
Gunter said he wasn't exactly clear on why he was being transferred, but numerous residents in Lone Grove, students and past students all said the move doesn't make a lot of sense. Some said it was downright wrong.
LONE GROVE, Oklahoma -- Brian Gunter's been teaching for over a decade, with many of his students going on to enjoy success at the college level, but that success doesn't seem to have translated to his longevity at the school he loves.
Gunter, who's led his speech and debate team to seven consecutive state titles in the last 10 years, was told a few weeks ago by the high school principal that he was being reassigned to Lone Grove Middle School.
"It felt like a joke to me at first," Gunter said. "It was surreal."
Gunter's initial concern was that the program was being dropped. He was told however that the program would continue, just not under his direction. Economics was the reason he was given.
At a later meeting with the Lone Grove Superintendent however, Gunter said he was given a different reason for his reassignment.
"To me they said it was an issue of non-compliance," Gunter said. "They didn't specify anything to be non-compliant about."
The news of Gunter's move traveled fast throughout the small town. A Facebook page sprung up, and in a matter of days already had over fifteen hundred members. Many of those posting on the page are former students, and parents of former students.
"I think what's happening to Brian Gunter is wrong," said Madalyn Crook, one of Gunter's former students. "The kids love him, that's just the point of it. He's one of the best teachers we have at Lone Grove."
Dozens of supporters showed up at a school board meeting on June 14, but the board took no action on Gunter's reassignment. The issue is on the agenda for the next school board meeting on June 28.
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