Washington Co., TN elementary teacher fired after misconduct claims

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Washington County Board of Education members voted Tuesday night to dismiss a tenured Gray Elementary School teacher after she reportedly had physical contact with male students.

The board voted to dismiss Jennifer Collins on insubordination and misconduct charges, which included failure to conduct herself in a professional conduct – physical contact with male students, and failure to obey principals orders to have no physical contact with male students.

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During the board of education meeting Tuesday night, Halliburton recommended to the board members that Jennifer Collins be dismissed from the school district based on a list of charges she read out loud.

In one of the letters she read to the board, it stated Collins was the subject of complaints from both students and parents since August 2014.

Complaints Halliburton described as having to do with physical contact with students, primarily male students.

In the letter Halliburton also mentioned that Collins was given a letter of warning from her principal in August of this year about physical contact with students.

“You are immediately directed to restrain from physical contact with students, your principal also expressed in the letter of warning issued to you that the male students who have come forward expressed anxiety, and discomfort in your unwanted physical contact with them,” Halliburton said.

Halliburton went into further detail that Collins reportedly disobeyed the principals orders.

“A male student and his parent reported to your principal that you have engaged in conduct including, but not limited to kissing this male student on the forehead, hugging him, and sticking your finger in his ear,” Halliburton said.

Director of Schools Kimber Halliburton recommended Collins’ termination and the board voted 5 to 4 to terminate her as an employee.

Halliburton also told us that Collins denied the allegations through a court reporter.

Collins is listed on the school system’s website as a 5th grade science and social studies teacher.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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