BOE action

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2008

Board makes strong statement for justice

The story of Demopolis High School assistant coach Nathan Wesley Hallman is troubling on many levels. On one hand, there is a young man whose professional future as a teacher and coach is likely dashed, and whose personal future may include a prison term if he is found guilty of the charges against him: second-degree rape and enticing a child for immoral purposes.

Following his arrest, Hallman attempted to tender his resignation to the Demopolis Board of Education, but the board instead has opted to begin termination proceedings against the embattled coach.

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The board should be applauded for its actions. A termination in an instance like this will allow the Alabama Department of Education to review Hallman&8217;s case and determine whether or not his teaching credential can be revoked.

Two types of revocations are possible: Conditional or unconditional. A conditional revocation means that Hallman could one day teach again, provided he meets certain criteria. An unconditional revocation would mean that Hallman could never teach again.

In the midst of this sorry situation, leadership provided by Demopolis High School principal Dr. Isaac Espy and city schools superintendent Dr. Wayne L. Vickers has proven invaluable. Once informed of the alleged relationship between Hallman and a student, Espy quickly investigated and turned over the information he discovered to the proper authorities. Vickers &8212; and the board of education &8212; has taken a strong stand by beginning termination proceedings against Hallman.

It&8217;s the right move. We do not yet know whether Hallman is guilty of the charges levied against him, but if those charges are in fact true, he should not be allowed to teach again and should be punished accordingly.

We, too, understand the severity of this issue and hope to see positive results come from a troublesome circumstance.