Ridings receives 10-day suspension, community unhappy
By Caitlin Boland

Susan Tutt addresses the BOE and crowd during the board’s regular meeting on May 11.
The McDuffie County Board of Education reached a verdict in the situation involving the THS head football coach and a 14-year-old Thomson-McDuffie Middle School student.
On May 11 at the board’s regular meeting, the school board voted to suspend Rob Ridings for 10 days without pay, retroactive to April 24 to May 5.
“Following a comprehensive investigation, the McDuffie County Board of Education voted to suspend the contract of Rob Ridings for 10 days without pay,” the school board said in a press release. “While the District does not and cannot discuss the specifics of any individual personnel or student action, the District takes all allegations of employee misconduct seriously and believes that this consequence is appropriate given the circumstances which involved no use of profanity or physical contact by the employee.”
The situation stemmed from an incident that occurred in late April in which Rob Ridings crossed Whiteoak Road, entered the middle school through a back door and confronted the student.
Bob Knox, Jr., school board attorney, instructed those who would speak during public input not to use the teacher/coach’s name while speaking to the board.
At a mass community meeting, the boy’s mother, Jennifer Samuels, said Ridings abused his power.
“Rob Ridings went through the effort of finding out when my child would be in a particular class. He entered the school through a rear door and did not try to follow protocol, did not try to go through the front door or anything. He came to the school shouting and trying to find out who Deyon Moss was like he was ready for a fight from some information he gained on a Thursday,” Samuels said. “He (Ridings) said that he was told by his son that my son said he was a sorry coach. He stewed from a Thursday to a Monday, He took nine minutes to walk from the athletic department at Thomson High School, across the street and through the backdoor of the middle school to come through the door shouting and to find two other teachers to remove my child from the classroom.”
During the May 11 meeting, community members were able to speak on behalf of both opposing sides.
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the May 18, 2017, issue of The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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