School Board To Decide Principal's Job Status

Friday, March 30th 2007, 6:24 am

By: News On 6

The Hilldale board of education could decide the employment status of a suspended high school principal Friday evening. According to an agenda posted earlier this week, the Muskogee County school board will decide if Dewayne Pemberton should be dismissed or retained by the school district. The Hilldale school board will hold a dismissal due process hearing concerning Dewayne Pemberton, an 18-year veteran of the school district.

Superintendent D.B. Merrill placed Dewayne Pemberton on administrative leave with pay at the end of January.

Pemberton says he wasn't given a reason for the termination proceedings. The hearing was set for March 15th but there was a conflict of interest with the schools' attorneys.

There is also a dispute about the person picked to represent the board during the hearing. Pemberton's attorney says advisor Randy Huggins is Merrill's friend and former colleague. Merrill's attorney says Huggins is a fair choice.

The suspension has sparked several protests. Students voiced their disappointment with a walkout last month. Hundreds of parents and many teachers have also voiced their support for Pemberton.

After hearing from both sides, the school board will go into executive session to make a decision on Pemberton's employment with the school district.

The board meeting will be 7 p.m. at the Hilldale Event Center on Smith Ferry Road in Muskogee. The school board has also set aside time Saturday morning if they need more time for the hearing.

Related stories:

2/5/2007 - Students Protest After Principal Suspended

2/9/2007 - Suspended Principal Given Termination Papers

2/15/2007 - Parents Rally Around Popular Principal

2/29/2007 - Principal's Job Still In Limbo

3/2/2007 - Hearing For Suspended School Principal Set

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