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Supreme Court Says Knox Can Return To School Pending Appeal

June 4, 1994

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ A high school principal suspended for allowing students to read prayers over an intercom can return to work pending an appeal, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The Jackson School Board suspended Bishop Knox without pay Dec. 15 for the remainder of the 1993-94 school year. A Hinds County judge ruled in April that Knox had been wrongly disciplined and should be reinstated with back pay.

But the board appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court, which said Friday that Knox can return to work while it reviews the case.

Perry Sansing, who represents the school board, said the district was satisfied with the Supreme Court’s ruling. He said the concern had been to keep Knox off the campus until the school year was completed.

Knox’s lawyer, Nate Kellum, said the principal plans to return Monday. School is out, but teachers and administrators remain on duty through June.

The Supreme Court will decide whether Knox should get back pay and whether the school district should have guidelines for prayer in the classroom. Kellum said a decision could take two years.

Knox, 38, couldn’t be reached for comment at his home Friday.

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