Supreme Court Upholds Suspension Of High School Student

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld a ten-day suspension of a student at Hillsboro High School in Nashville.   

On Sept. 5, 2008, Christian Heyne, a senior and captain of the football team, injured another student when he pinned the student’s foot under one of the wheels of his car.  The principal of Hillsboro High School conducted an investigation and determined that Mr. Heyne had violated the school rule prohibiting “reckless endangerment.”  Accordingly, the principal suspended Mr. Heyne for 10 days and placed him on probation for the rest of the school year.  The principal’s decision was reviewed and upheld by a disciplinary board, a representative of the director of schools, and the school board. 

Mr. Heyne and his parents filed suit challenging the suspension in the Chancery Court for Davidson County.  They argued that the disciplinary procedure violated Mr. Heyne’s due process right to a fair and unbiased hearing.  The chancery court agreed and held that the disciplinary process has been tainted by bias and procedural unfairness and the suspension was based on insufficient evidence. 

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and upheld Mr. Heyne’s suspension and probation.  Mr. Heyne and his parents appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals.  In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court determined that the disciplinary proceedings were not unfair and that the Heynes had failed to prove that the school officials were biased against Mr. Heyne.  The Court also found that the evidence supported the school officials’ decision that Mr. Heyne had violated the rule prohibiting reckless endangerment and that he should be suspended for 10 days. 

To read the Christian Heyne v. Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education opinion, authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., visit http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/heynec_opn.pdf.




Corker Says Congress Must Play A Proactive Role In Confronting North Korean Aggression

Senator Bob Corkeron Wednesday opened Senate debate on the bipartisan North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, legislation that will expand and tighten enforcement of sanctions for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development and other destructive activities of the Kim regime.   “We know all too well that the past two decades of North Korean policy from ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Officers Deal With Trampoline Against House, Poison Ivy, Slow Bicyclists

A woman on Tulip Avenue phoned police to say that a large trampoline had been blown against her house. She said it came from the residence of a nearby neighbor on Moss Street. The neighbor was not home. An officer said the trampoline was too large for him to move. He tied it down for the night until the neighbor could retrieve it. * * * A manager at the Walmart in ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)

District 5-3A Hoops Haunted By The Ooltewah "Situation"

(Story will be updated) ATHENS, Tenn. – District 5-3A basketball coaches gathered here on Wednesday to set up brackets and choose regular season All-District teams. They got the regular season teams done. Most of the other business was left on the table and won’t be decided until the end of the week. Bradley Central swept the top player honors when Cole Copeland ... (click for more)

McMasters Celebrates Senior Night With 1,000th Point

Tuesday was a special day for Claire McMasters, one that she'll probably remember the rest of her life. She was one of three young ladies who were honored on Senior Night at Grace Baptist Academy -- the other two being Katie Stead and Ebony Ransby --  and she put an exclamation point on the evening by scoring her 1,000th point to end the first quarter. Unfortunately, ... (click for more)