HCS School Board discusses bus driver, approves calendar

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – A school bus driver working Hamilton County School routes said he was fired after posting his opinion on Facebook Thursday morning.

Jonathan McKenney made a comment on Hamilton County Schools’ Facebook post about opening school on a normal schedule.

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Many people defended him in the post, and one defended him at the school board meeting Thursday night.

School leaders discussed the issue and said that he’s not a school employee.

“So he’s not fired, he’s just not going to be used by the contractor for that particular route? But he could drive us in one of our districts, right? He has job, right? That’s my question,” School Board Member Karitsa Jones asked.

“If another contractor chooses him to drive a route or to pick up or someone gets sick or they’re having a hard time filling another route or like we’ve done in the past when First Student can’t fill routes and we put him out to another contractor then absolutely. He’s still on the sublist,” Hamilton County Schools Chief Operations Officer Dr. Justin Robertson said.

Also in the meeting, board members approved the 21-22 school calendar.

It includes a week-long fall break, a short week for Thanksgiving and a spring break that falls on the week of Good Friday and Easter.

There are also some remote days.

“Next year will be the third year that we’ve provided that additional planning time for teachers,” Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson said.

With this calendar, the first day for students will be August 12th and the last day will be May 25th.

“Still one of my pet peeves. That’s why I won’t be voting for it. I think it starts too early in August,” School Board Member Rhonda Thurman said.

Thurman was the only school board member to vote against the calendar.