Attorney calls firing of choir director a 'witch hunt' carried out by 'schoolyard bully'

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC) - A tenured Houston High School teacher lost his job following a five-minute meeting by the Germantown Board of Education.

The school board voted unanimously to fire William Rayburn, a tenured choir teacher, Monday morning following an internal investigation into several complaints of misconduct by students and parents.

The firing comes after Rayburn was suspended in April by the school district amid allegations he kissed, touched, and made inappropriate comments toward students, according to a memo sent to him by the superintendent.

Rayburn's attorney, Michael Gaines, said the accusations are not true. He called the investigation into Rayburn and his subsequent firing a "witch hunt."

"Dr. Rayburn is completely innocent of any and all of the allegations brought against him. Dr. Rayburn is an outstanding educator whose record and accomplishments are unmatched in his field.

Parents at the school said Monday that they did not have all the facts in the case, but it still did not look good for Rayburn.

"If they fired him, there must have been enough evidence," Kara Willingham said. "I think it's just wrong for somebody, especially someone in power to take advantage of anybody."

In a memo provided by the Germantown School District, Rayburn was fired for kissing students on the forehead, disrespecting parents and students by yelling at them, touching students inappropriately, as well as bullying and threatening parents and students.

Rayburn now has 30 days to request a public hearing, according to the school district.

If Rayburn chooses to appeal in that way, the school board will name an impartial hearing officer from a pre-approved list.

Rayburn is also under investigation by Germantown Police Department after a student said he assaulted her.

Germantown Municipal School District said it encourages any and all students who have concerns of any natures about Rayburn or any other teachers to come forward.

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