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Sequatchie principal accused of misleading school director about football players

An open records request has revealed new details into the demotion and reassignment of Sequatchie County High School principal Tommy Layne (Images: Sequatchie Co. Schools, WTVC)

An open records request has revealed new details into the demotion and reassignment of Sequatchie County High School's principal.

Through the request, NewsChannel 9 got a copy of a disciplinary letter sent to Principal Tommy Layne.

Director of Schools Michael Swafford says Layne provided "substantial misinformation" about two transferring students.

Swafford says Layne told him the students were not subject to any disciplinary action at their former school.

The letter reads in part "As a result of this misinformation, these students escaped the consequences of their actions."

In October, parents reached out to us about an incident at the Sequatchie and Grundy football game.

Video posted to Facebook shows Sequatchie players holding up two jerseys during the coin toss.

Grundy County officials say the jerseys are of former Grundy County football players charged in 2017's attempted aggravated rape case.

Those students transferred to Sequatchie.

Because the document is partially redacted, we cannot say for sure that this is regarding the Grundy County incident.

Layne has been reassigned to work as a full time teacher and substitute teacher at Griffith Elementary School.

According to the letter, he will be on a principal's salary through the end of the school year, and paid a teacher's salary afterward.

We have transcribed the entire disciplinary letter below.

=========================

"October 29, 2018

Re: Transfer of your job assignment

Dear Mr. Layne:

As I informed you on October 26, 2018, pursuant to T.C.A. § 49-5-510, I am transferring you from your position as the principal of Sequatchie County High School to another position as full time teacher/substitute teacher at Griffith County High School. You will continue to be paid your principal's salary through the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Thereafter, you will be paid a teacher's salary based upon the Sequatchie County Board of Education's salary scale.

As I explained to you, this transfer is a result of substantial and material misinformation you provided me in connection with two students who transferred from (REDACTED) to Sequatchie County High School. You informed me on numerous occasions that the records you received from the (REDACTED) did not indicate that the students were subject to any disciplinary action. In fact, both students were under long-term suspensions that had been modified with a remand to the (REDACTED) Alternative School. As a result of this misinformation, these students escaped the consequences of their actions, and Sequatchie County High School allowed at least one of them to play football when they would otherwise have been ineligible. This incident has damaged the reputation and integrity of the Sequatchie County Schools.

On behalf of the Sequatchie County Board of Education, I appreciate your years of faithful service to our school system. I hope and trust that you will continue your dedicated service in your new role.

Very truly yours,

Michael L. Swafford

Director of Schools"

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