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Chickamauga school board again delays decision on school chief Melody Day

April 9, 2019

Chickamauga Board of Education Chairman Corky Jewell said Monday, April 8, that the board is still gathering information on whether to continue its contract with Schools Superintendent Melody Day.

Day pleaded “no contest” on March 8 to a theft charge in which she was accused of changing price tags on clothes at a Belks in Chattanooga, Tenn. In a no-contest plea, the defendant does not “contest” the prosecution’s case; at the same time, the defendant does not admit guilt.

Jewell, following the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday, April 8, declined to comment on the matter. The meeting, which usually begins at 5:15 p.m., began at 4:30 p.m. to allow for annual training required state Board of Education. Day attended the meeting in her usual role as superintendent.

At last month’s regular meeting, held March 11, just three days after Day’s “no contest” plea, the city school board delayed any action on Day. In a prepared statement the board said, “... We have not had adequate time to consult our legal counsel to determine if a material breach of the employment contract has occurred or if there has been a violation of (Georgia Professional Standards Commission) standards.”

City school officials, asked after Monday’s (April 8) meeting when the board expects to make a decision, declined to comment. Day also declined comment, saying only that the Georgia Professional Standards Commission is investigating a possible violation.

Background

On Dec. 2, 2018, a police report was filed that accused Day of theft from Belk in Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga. Day allegedly went into the dressing room with several items of clothing, some on sale and some that were marked at full price, and swapped the tags on these items. Police were called, and Day was cited for theft under $1,000.

At the time, the school board chose to keep her in position as the superintendent under the assumption of innocence until proven guilty.

On March 8, Day appeared at the Hamilton County (Tenn.) General Sessions Court, and under the advice of her attorney, she pleaded “no contest.” She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $525.50, to stay out of Belk stores, and to seek counseling.

The Chickamauga Board of Education will meet Monday, May 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the board meeting room of the central office.