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Overton School Board Votes To Terminate Tenured Teacher After Erratic Behavior

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Overton School Board Votes To Terminate Tenured Teacher After Erratic Behavior

The Overton County School Board unanimously voted to terminate tenured teacher Elizabeth Maxwell Tuesday night.

Director Donnie Holman had suspended teacher Maxwell in October for erratic behavior. That same month the school board voted to send a letter to Maxwell informing her of the investigation into termination and inviting her to speak before the board. She did not respond to the school board’s requests.

“Following the instructions of the Board Chair, notices of the intent to discharge Elizabeth Maxwell were sent to her by regular and registered mail,” Holman said. “No response from Miss Maxwell have been received and all the letters have been returned indicating that delivery has been evaded.”

In addition to being a teacher, Maxwell was the Livingston Academy girls assistant basketball coach. According to a document presented to the board in October, Maxwell’s behaviors included allowing students access to the school building unsupervised and sending a video to a student of herself “smoking a substance in a bong”.

“Evading delivery of the letters giving notice of the intent to discharge is not of sufficient ground to halt the process of dismissal,” Holman said. “Hence, based upon the advice of council, I recommend Elizabeth Maxwell be discharged effective immediately as a teacher in the Overton County School System.”

Board Chair James Clouse spoke on behalf of the board regarding the termination.

“It is the decision of the board that Miss Maxwell is formerly discharged from service as a tenured teacher effective immediately,” Clouse said. “Dr. Holman, you are to send a letter via First Class US Mail informing her of this decision. In addition, you are to notify the state board of education of this action so that consideration of appropriate license or action can begin.”

According to a document given to the board, Maxwell had not been on school property since August after several faculty witnessed her putting pills in her mouth that she said were Xanax. The school resource officer and school nurses had to calm Maxwell down, and she was asked to leave according to the document.

In other business, the board approved the allocation of funds to the JROTC program and approved the teacher apprenticeship application for use.


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