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Fairview coach resigns over misuse of gym

Late-night basketball leads to teacher’s resignation

COVINGTON — An instructional coach at Fairview Elementary School has resigned after a late-night basketball game at the school gym led to two arrests.

Peter Card turned in his letter of resignation April 22 after he was placed on administrative leave with pay on April 14. Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey wrote Card that the leave was due to his conduct on April 4 and that he would be notified of his continued employment with the school system on or before Friday, April 25.

Two people were arrested at Fairview in the early morning hours of April 5 after deputies with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office noticed several cars in the school parking lot and the gym was open.

While deputies were checking the parking lot they saw a small pistol on the center console inside of one of the cars.

According to the NCSO report, there were 25 to 30 men playing basketball inside the gym.

The owner of the car where the gun was seen and a man who rode with him were questioned about the gun. Neither claimed ownership of it, so both were arrested on charges of possession of a weapon in a school safety zone. A search of the car revealed a small amount of marijuana and a tobacco grinder, which led to a second charge for each of the men.

The Board of Education’s policy on use of school facilities states that school buildings “shall be to accommodate school programs for boys and girls to assist in meeting the educational, cultural, civic, social and recreational needs of communities.”

According to a spokesperson for the school system, the principal of a school can authorize the use of the building up to three times. After that, permission must be granted by the school board.

An employee of the school did have permission to use the Fairview gym; however, the principal did not realize it would be that late in the evening, the spokesperson said.

During the April 15 Board of Education work session, board member Jeff Meadors asked Fuhrey if there was a formal agreement in place allowing the basketball activity to take place.

“There is not,” replied Fuhrey.

“Is there going to be something forthcoming, is that going to go on?” Meadors asked.

“No. The answer at this time is no,” replied Fuhrey. “Having met with the principal, no, we will not be doing that.”

Card was hired by the school system in August 2001. He had worked at Oak Hill Elementary, Newton High and Fairview Elementary schools.