LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — For the second time in four months, the Moore County school board has denied tenure to a teacher who is also a varsity high school coach. During Monday’s Board of Education meeting, board members voted unanimously to deny tenure to MCHS girls basketball coach Bruce Slatten. In January, the MCBoE denied tenure to head football coach Jeremy Austin.
Monday’s vote was 4-0 in favor of releasing Slatten. Board members Richard Riddle, Jammie Cashion, Lorrie McKenzie and Ed Cashion each voted ‘no.’ Board member Ronnie Smith was absent.
Along with coaching the high school girls basketball team, Slatten is a P.E. teacher and a Driver’s Education teacher.
Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead recommended Slatten for tenure because he has scored at least a 4 or 5 on mandatory evaluations and he’s been in the school system for at least five years.
Because of state law, Slatten is not eligible to be rehired, thus ending his six-year run as the Raiderettes’ head coach. According to the Tennessee Department of Education website, Public Chapter No. 70 (PC 70) states that “once a teacher is eligible for tenure, ‘the teacher shall be either recommended by the director of schools for tenure or nonrenewed … however, that the teacher cannot be continued in employment if tenure is not granted by the board of education.’”
It continues to read, “PC 70 is no different from the prior law in that once a teacher meets the eligibility criteria for tenure, a decision to grant tenure or nonrenew the teacher’s contract must be made.”
Because tenure was not granted, Slatten’s current contract, which runs through the end of the school year, cannot be renewed.
When Austin was let go in January, Moorehead stated that he has issues with the state’s tenure law and “(has) a problem personally when the state law overreaches, saying that when you don’t grant tenue you have to let them go. Tenure is a whole different story than ‘things were a little rough this year, we’re gonna give you one more chance.’ It’s a flawed system that needs to be overhauled.”
Moorehead had little to say Monday night, other than that “granting tenure, especially in a coaching situation can be (a difficult) situation.
“It’s the school board’s decision and they felt like they didn’t need to (grant tenure) in this instance,” he added.
Slatten has been at Moore County since the Fall of 2010, when he took over for Coach Holly White, who left MCHS to accept an assistant coaching position at Riverdale High School. White departed after leading Moore County to a 27-8 record and a runner-up finish in the TSSAA Class A State Tournament.
For more on this story, see the complete version in the April 14 print edition of The News or the complete online version. To subscribe, click here.
Follow us on Twitter: @TheMooreCoNews