Parents question Germantown school board about suspended choir teacher

Parents question Germantown school board about suspended choir teacher
William Rayburn (Source: Submitted)
William Rayburn (Source: Submitted)

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC) - A Germantown choir teacher remains off the job nearly a month after serious allegations involving students surfaced.

Houston High Choir teacher William Rayburn is accused of kissing, touching and making inappropriate comments to students and hasn't been fired.

Parents and concerned citizens gave an earful at the Germantown Municipal School Board meeting about the recent scandals.

"It's very concerning as a parent, as an educator, I'm a teacher as well and I feel like as teachers we owe it to ourselves and to our students to provide an environment where they feel cared for and protected," said Dawn Grayson.

Grayson went into the Germantown Municipal School Board meeting representing concerned parents who worry things are getting out of hand.

"I am speaking to you today as a representative of a concerned group of citizens," Grayson said.

But citizens who spoke to the board were told they could not use names the superintendent, choir directors or any person they are talking about.

"I have a series of questions and it regards 'ex-principal blank,'" said Germantown citizen Tom Freeman.

Freeman was told he could not talk about details involving the former Houston High principal, Kyle Cherry.

"This is a coverup that goes far beyond the jurisdiction of the school board," said Germantown resident Sara Freeman. "When was the school board told about this incident?"

School members did not answer citizens' questions.

Parent Cherie Didier called for the superintendent's resignation. She said her daughter was punched by a basketball player and it was dismissed as horseplay.

"I'm very offended about it," Didier said.

Monday is the first time since those accusations surfaced that Germantown Municipal School Board has met.

The district's superintendent, Jason Manuel, spoke with reporters on April 27 about the situation. He explained that the school district was following procedure by suspending the teacher as it investigated the accusations.

Manuel was a bit shocked by it all but said there is a process in place.

"I would like to say please call us," Manuel said. "We're a small district where they can call me call me personally and get me on the phone same day."

Rayburn is suspended without pay during the investigation. The superintendent said the investigation should be complete in the next couple of weeks.

The superintendent also said he does not plan to resign.

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