A judge ruled Wednesday against Girard Middle School principal Greg Yance challenging his termination. Yance's contract, a three year agreement executed in 2009, was not renewed by the Dothan School Board during its March 26 meeting. The lawsuit named Superintendent Tim Wilder and members of the board as defendants.
The board cited the number of aggressive acts by students and lack of campus control as reasons for Yance's termination.
Yance and his attorney, Thomas Brantley, countered---claiming the principal's firing was triggered by bias on the part of the board because he and his wife made negative statements about Dothan City Schools when they filed a special education due process complaint against the board on behalf of their son.
Retired Circuit Judge Denny Holloway, in his ruling, found no evidence Yance's termination was either personally or politically motivated--the basis cited by Yance's lawsuit. Holloway cited a 1973 case (Marshall County Board of Education vs. State Tenure Commission) as partial basis for his decision. "Personal reasons have to come from a source other than the actual quasi-judicial functions of a Superintendent making recommendation or of a Board member voting and the personal reason must influence the recommendation or the voting," Holloway said.
The judge, in his decision, ruled Yance had failed to meet his burden as required to show the preponderance of the evidence demonstrated Wilder had personal reasons for his recommendation that Yance be fired from the job in which has served since 2006.
Holloway, assigned the case after other judges recused themselves, ordered Yance to pay the court costs incurred in the case. Yance's contract expires June 30.