Former Ridgeland principal continues fight to get job back - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Former Ridgeland principal continues fight to get job back

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Sharon Summers Source: WLBT archives Sharon Summers Source: WLBT archives
Michael Porter Source: WLBT archives Michael Porter Source: WLBT archives
Blair Porter Source: WLBT archives Blair Porter Source: WLBT archives
FLORA, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Former Ridgeland High School Principal Sharon Summers was in Flora today as the hearing continues over what she says is wrongful termination. 

Jackson attorney Lisa Ross contends that her client was fired after district officials took issue with the handling of parent complaints, concerning the interaction between two Ridgeland coaches and a minor.

Summers was principal when two former Ridgeland coaches, Michael and Blair Porter, were indicted on one count of sexual battery involving a child.

Superintendent Ronnie McGehee took the stand at Thursday's hearing. According to his testimony, Summers was fired due to lack of communication with the Central Office back in 2012 regarding the scandal with Porters. 

"When she knew about an incident that was reported in 2012 and did not report it, but then did report it in 2014, that's poor decision making," said McGehee.

Lisa Ross, Summers attorney, said her client had no knowledge of sexual activities between the student and teachers.

"I think I have shown Mrs. Summers was treated different than other employees who had knowledge, the same knowledge she had, and she has been terminated, and other employees remain," said Ross. "I think Mrs. Summers acted professionally and she acted at all times in the best interest of the students and she acted at all times with the information she had."

McGehee also said that Michael was Blair Porters supervisor on the Softball field where they were both coaches, which is a violation of district rules.  

McGehee says that he had no knowledge that the Porters were married until the investigation was opened last summer. Being married and under a spouse's supervision violates the district's nepotism policy.

Ross says that the complaint that arose in 2012 was investigated and closed.

Minutes from the hearing will be turned over to the Madison County School Board. They will have 30 days to uphold or reverse the Superintendent's decision to terminate Summers. 

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