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Judge nixes lawsuit by motorsports instructor / August 28, 2014

A lawsuit brought by ousted motorsports teacher William C. “Buddy” Wilborn against the Halifax County School Board was dismissed yesterday morning in Mecklenburg County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Leslie Osborn, in siding with the School Board, declined to challenge the findings of the hearing officer who reviewed Wilborn’s termination. According to Halifax attorney John Greenbacker, who is representing Wilborn, his client has 21 days to decide whether to refile the case.

In the lawsuit, filed in early June, Wilborn alleged he did not receive due process rights as a tenured teacher facing termination. The lawsuit further alleged that Wilborn was denied the right to directly cross-examine witnesses who testified against him at a hearing to review the firing.

Former school superintendent Dennis Witt presided as the hearing officer at the May 13 meeting. In attendance were Virginia Education Association representative Duane Thomas, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Merle Herndon, assistant superintendent of Schools Valdivia Marshall, Halifax County Middle School principal Faye Bruce and HCMS assistant principal Gwendolyn Smith-Mangum.

The lawsuit alleged that Witt did not live outside the school division as called for in the state code. It further alleged that Witt was not impartial since in a summary statement of the hearing, he ruled that the School Board should prevail in matters of evaluation, assignment and termination of employees in the absence of wrongdoing on the part of the administration.

The Halifax County School Board was represented in the case by school attorney Craig Wood.

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Hope he appeals. Whitt is a nice guy but he is a former super. and you know he is going to side with the school

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