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TRUMANN, Ark. – Responding to the lawsuit by a dismissed coach, Trumann Public Schools Superintendent Myra Graham issued a statement to NEA Report. She also categorically denied having ever called herself, “the Terminator,” which was alleged in the lawsuit filed by former Boys Head Basketball Coach Jordan Wise.
The Trumann School District has been served with a complaint filed by Jordan Wise appealing the non-renewal of his contract with the district. Mr. Wise was notified of the superintendent’s intention to recommend non-renewal to the Trumann School Board and of his right to present evidence and testimony to the board. Mr. Wise requested and was given a hearing before the school board. Evidence related to the reasons was presented, and Mr. Wise addressed the board in response. The school board deliberated privately after hearing the evidence and Mr. Wise. The board reconvened in public session and voted first on the truth of each reason given by the superintendent. The board then voted to uphold the recommendation and not to renew the contract of Mr. Wise. Copies of the public votes taken by the school board are attached to this statement. The lawsuit has been referred to the district’s attorney and will be answered by him. – Myra Graham
Following the initial email from Graham, through her school email address, NEA Report specifically asked if she had ever referred to herself as “The Terminator.”
“No sir,” Graham responded. “I have not.”
Also included in the email was a more specific listing of the reasons why Wise was dismissed by the school board. All of the following reasons are listed as being voted true unanimously, 5 to 0:
- You texted your players in the summer of 2017 in violation of the AAA Dead Week Rule.
- You posted an inappropriate video on Facebook criticizing a referee’s call even though you had been written up for inappropriate posts in the past that the school asked you to remove.
- Your wife sent a personal message through Facebook with threatening and harassing statements about a referee. You were informed about this being inappropriate. When your wife was called in to speak with the athletic director, you attended with her and heard her being told that any further such comments would result in her being banned from basketball games for the year.
- You used an obscene word and said vile things about your job, Trumann School and the people of Trumann. These comments were made in front of others (including students) after the February 18, Trumann v. Gosnell game.
- You arrived for work on March 15 at 8:30 instead of the required 7:45 a.m. and were observed by the athletic director. You told the athletic director that the time you get to work varies, but you had not called the athletic director or your principal who are direct supervisors.
- After checking by reviewing video surveillance on the HS campus, it was discovered that you arrived for first period Junior High athletic practice at 8:21 on March 9, that you did not show up on March 7, that you did not show up on March 5, and that you arrived at 7:55 on March 2. On all of these dates, your team started working out at 7:30.
- On Friday, March 16, you admitted that you did not attend Cedar Park Gym for Junior High athletic practice first period on Tuesdays and Thursdays and could not recall what you were doing during those times.
- Your wife solicited a minor to attend a school board meeting about your employment issues. You were aware of this and had a team meeting planned after the board meeting.
- You have lost the trust of the administration as a coach/leader of the Boys’ basketball program (7-12).
- You have told the administration that you did not sign on to be just a teacher.
- You have told the administration that you cannot be reassigned
- Your job performance does not meet the standards of the Trumann School District.
- Your public conduct is not consistent with the requirements of your position
- You have a single contract with Trumann School District as a coach and a teacher.
By a vote of 5-0, the Trumann School Board voted to uphold the recommendation of the superintendent not to renew the contract of Wise.
The coach counters in his suit the school board gives a “rubber stamp” to the superintendent and asks for his job back along with lost wages, attorney fees and compensatory damages.