Metro fires popular special ed teacher pending hearing - WSMV Channel 4

Metro fires popular special ed teacher pending hearing

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A legendary Metro teacher, who for 36 years took kids with the biggest problems and helped turn them around, has been fired pending a hearing.

Linda Pounds says she was released because she fought for special needs kids. But even more convincing are the parents coming forward who claim Linda Pounds changed their children's lives.

"These children's futures have a completely different trajectory because of Linda Pounds," parent Andy Downs said.

Downs says his son was miserable in school - bad grades, bad attitude, struggling - until he walked into Linda Pounds' class.

It was a transformation.

"I sit here today absolutely convinced if it were not for Linda Pounds, my son would not be on the honor role at a magnet school today," Downs said.

Pounds, on the advice of her lawyer, cannot speak about her dismissal until her hearing date, but many parents are speaking for her. One woman, who wanted to conceal her student's identity, supports Pounds' efforts.

"I can't get my son to go to school. He was in a very safe program, in a very safe place and it finally got to a point of him actually getting out of the car and going into the building. And now, it started about three weeks ago, he has decided that he is not going back to school, because he knows the program is not there and there's no security there for him," she said.

Pounds was disciplined twice at Bellevue Middle School by Principal Elizabeth Hargis. Pounds says it was because she demanded that the special needs kids get the services they needed.

She admits she fought for her students. Some parents say it is all because special needs students don't matter in Metro schools.

"Metro is trying to silence her, because having to deal with the issue she's raising, it is a lot more time and effort to take her advice rather than not," Downs said.

Metro Nashville Public Schools does not comment on personnel decisions. Linda Pounds says she will aggressively defend herself at her dismissal hearing.

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