Students Protest School Removing Teacher

By: Mike McCarthy, Reporter
By: Mike McCarthy, Reporter

Sunbright, Morgan County (WVLT) - Classes in Morgan County Schools were in session Tuesday, but many high school students weren't.

More than 100 students protested all day outside Sunbright High School.

They're upset because the school board isn't giving head football coach and teacher Curtis Newberry tenure. He must have that in order to teach there next year.

As Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy found out, the students just want to know why.

The students outside Sunbright High School may be quiet, but their message is loud and clear.

No coach. No school.

"Sometimes in life you've got to stand up for what you believe in. That's what we're doing," Senior Tony Papple and more than half of the student body cut class to protest since seven this morning.

Signs and t-shirts show they want head football and baseball coach Curtis Newberry around next year.

But it's not just students.

"We feel like we've been treated unfair. We feel like it's a personal conflict. We feel like it's politics. We feel like this man has not been given justice," says parent Robin Murrell.

Last month, the school board denied Newberry tenure.

"My conflict is apparently with someone on the school board or in the board office," Newberry says the school principal recommended him for the honor he must get to keep teaching at the school. But at the same meeting Newberry expected celebration cake, "About five minutes before the meeting ended, they took a recess and that's when they told me my name had been pulled from the list."

Now Newberry, his students, and community are all asking the same question.

"I don't really see what the reason is. They won't give us a reason," says Junior Ashton Bryge.

But every student here has a reason he should stay.

"I was struggling in math and he took his time out of his day after school, when he wasn't being paid, and he stayed and helped me study," Bryge says.

Memories that have made a difference to both the students and the man they loving just call coach.

Newberry says he's the first teacher ever to be denied tenure after receiving a principal recommendation.

We made multiple phone calls to the Morgan County Schools Central Office and also stopped by.

But director of schools Mike Davis wasn't able to talk with us.

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  • by Faith Location: Sunbright on May 9, 2007 at 10:41 PM
    I think the school board is stupid for not leting coach newberry have tenure he actualy cares about the students and not there for the money likes some teaches, I think that mick davis should go to hell for doing this, he says he is doing this b/c he thinks its the right thing for this school, well actually he's not he is making the worst mestact in the world for the school! Coach help this school turn around and if he leves most of the students leave and that means no kids no school so help us save coach newberry for the school and for the students.
  • by jessica Location: sunbright on May 9, 2007 at 03:44 PM
    i think it was a very respectable thing we the students did..
  • by BOB Location: ALCOA on May 9, 2007 at 11:08 AM
  • by kaitlyn byrge Location: Sunbright on May 8, 2007 at 10:07 PM
    help save coach newberry
  • by SHS Grad Location: Deer Lodge on May 8, 2007 at 09:49 PM the only way to describe how I feel about these students. They have acted in such a great manner and set examples for generations to come. They are standing up for what they believe is right!


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