Miss. high court to hear 2 school lawsuit appeals

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on April 2 in Jackson from attorneys in two firing discrimination cases against the Lowndes County School District.

Lynn Wright is appealing his firing in 2010 by the board from his position as principal of New Hope High School principal. In a separate case, former longtime New Hope baseball coach Stacy Hester also was fired in 2009 and sued the school district.

The cases were consolidated on appeal.

Wright was fired by the school board on May 17, 2010 for his purported role in Hester’s alleged unauthorized purchase of a $15,000 lawn mower.

Wright is now superintendent of the Lowndes County School District, the defendant in the lawsuit.

Each separately sued the district in October 2011, alleging they were fired due to personality conflicts, namely that then-Superintendent Mike Halford and former LCSD Board President Dr. Robert Buckley.

Hester had been the head baseball coach at New Hope High School for 18 years when he was fired for purchasing a John Deere Fairway lawn mower for the school two years previously without approval.

Wright had served as principal at the school since 2007.

In 2012, Chancery Judge Dorothy Colom ruled Wright was wrongfully terminated. Colom said because Wright was now superintendent of the Columbus schools, reinstatement was not possible. Colom awarded Wright $175,000 in back pay.

Colom upheld the firing of Hester.

The state Court of Appeals last year overturned Colom’s ruling in Wright’s case. It upheld the firing of Hester.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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