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School Board Denies Policy Change for Rineharts

Update: Gwinnett County Public School spokesperson says no decision has been made. Mark Rinehart will meet with officials today to discuss further options.

Update, Aug. 24, 2:20 p.m.: Sloan Roach, spokesperson for Gwinnett County Public Schools, said that, despite previous reports, no decision has been reached. 

Channel 2 Action News reported last night that Gwinnett County School Board will not change their leave policy for South Gwinnett math teacher Mark Rinehart. 

 from his fellow teachers in order to be with his wife, Hannah, while she recovers from a bacterial infection and multiple amputations. However, that is not allowed under school board policy. 

"We just can't do it for one person. We have requests frequently to do the type of thing that they have requested. But we have 22,000 employees," Gwinnett County Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said to Channel 2 News. 

The family of Hannah was not aware of the decision until they heard it on Channel 2, David Johnson, Hannah's brother, told Snellville Patch.

"Every decision they have made so far," said Johnson, "we have had to learn from the press." 

Human Resources is trying to work with Mark to find a solution that will work for everyone. They will meet with Mark again today at 3:30.

If you would like to be involved in helping the Rineharts, leave a note in the comments and we can all work together to make a difference here.  

Multiple fundraisers are being planned, including one at Medlock Park on Oct. 6 sponsored by Operation Appreciation. Before that, on Sept. 29, Westminster Presbyterian Church will host a fundraiser and blood drive.

"Even with my civilian and military careers combined, I don’t make enough money to be able to afford the expenses to come," said Mark Rinehart in a statement on a website dedicated to Hannah. "Immediate needs are the practical ones which include the living expenses Hannah’s salary would have covered as well as medical deductibles for this year and next. More distant needs include prosthetics, renovations to our home, vehicle modifications, and anything else that may not be covered by my health insurance for Hannah.

"If I truly want to ensure that I am doing everything within my power to help Hannah, I need to ask for the assistance of others.  Please help me so that I, in turn, can help my wife.”

Snellville Patch will bring you more information soon on how to help and who is raising money for the family. 

M.K. OSBORNE August 27, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Your right R ! A precedent has been established that we can indeed fast track a cause . And of course there is a Carter School opposition stance that could in fact be bolstered or blundered by how a matter such as this is handled . I am a staunch supporter of our world class schools in Gwinnett County and i want to make sure we are being world class employers as well .
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 27, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Uh Oh M.K I'm getting a thrill up my leg, you may have to run for office... (Smiles)
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew August 27, 2012 at 02:58 AM
@ Dave A well reasoned post, you represent your citizens well. Good luck sir.
M.K. OSBORNE August 27, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Charter that is .
M.K. OSBORNE August 27, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I think they will do the right thing . But hey........ you never know . Right now i will trust that they will show everyone that they are indeed a world class employer .

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