For the first time in eight years, the Dickson County school district has dismissed a tenured teacher.
At the Thursday, Aug. 22 school board meeting, board member Steve Haley made a motion to approve the dismissal and it was seconded by Phil Buckner. The motion was approved unanimously with board chairman Kirk Vandivort abstaining.
Marty Allison, a county teacher since 1988, was indicted in March for four counts of simple assault against minors, according to court records.
The former teacher was suspended in October 2018 after it was discovered he was under investigation by the Department of Children’s Services for “inappropriate physical contact with a student that (didn’t) result in harm,” according to school records.
“Students provided (statements) that they did not feel threatened or abused in any way,” according to Allison’s personnel file. “However, they did not feel comfortable with such behavior.”
During the board meeting, Schools Director Dr. Danny Weeks recommended the dismissal based on an investigation completed by his team and meetings with law enforcement, he said.
“I believe those facts constitute grounds for dismissing Mr. Allison as a tenured teacher,” he said.
Weeks stated that the reasons under state law to dismiss Allison included incompetence, conduct unbecoming of a teacher, insubordination and neglective duty.
Weeks said that while he hasn’t gathered any new information about the case, he felt it was time for the district to move forward.
Through a statement from his lawyer, Allison, who also works as a freelance photographer for The Dickson Post, maintained his innocence.
“We are disappointed that a premature and unwarranted decision was made to request the immediate termination of our client’s employment, prior to his actual day in court,” Allison’s attorney Tim Potter said in an email. “Subject to such conditions, no teacher in this school district is innocent until proven guilty. Our client denies these allegations, and we will advise him of his legal options.”
Allison’s trial was originally set for July 23 but was pushed back to Dec. 10.