The Wilson County Board of Education may not always get it right, but careful consideration of the consequences Director of Schools Tim Setterlund should face is the correct course of action to take in this case.
For more than two hours, the board met with its attorney Mike Jennings behind closed doors to weigh its options Sunday after Setterlund admitted to having a beer at a local establishment and then getting behind the wheel of a county vehicle. Following Jennings’ recommendation, the board agreed to take action following careful consideration of the facts, as well as board policy and state law.
On two prior occasions, Setterlund has involved both himself and the board in lawsuits after he dissolved two positions within Wilson County schools.
Thus, he effectively got rid of two longstanding employees, Bill Moss and Jill Micco, each of whom had not a blemish on their records of service.
Setterlund has since rehired Moss, but both lawsuits remain pending.
These two instances, along with Director of Safety David Burton’s recent firing, aren’t viewed as the way to treat employees who have dedicated years of their lives to improving Wilson County schools.
Setterlund’s case should be no different, except that the three employees previously mentioned answered to the director of schools, As director of schools, Setterlund answers to the board.
The board is wise in this case to take heed to the facts and not make an emotional decision, rather one that aligns with policies. After all, Setterlund, like those under him, are under contract, and his firing could bring about yet another lawsuit.
There is little doubt some of the decisions Setterlund has made in the nearly seven months he has served as director of schools are questionable, at best.
Let’s hope the board, along with everyone, hears Setterlund’s explanation before a well-thought-out verdict is rendered.