School tribunal decides to fire ‘trash can’ teacher

Mary Katherine Pursley, screenshot taken from 11 Alive Atlanta news

Mary Katherine Pursley, screenshot taken from 11 Alive Atlanta news

Marietta, Georgia — Just days after it was reported that school officials at the Mt. Bethel Elementary School held a termination hearing for Mary Katherine Pursley, the teacher accused of putting a young child with autism in a trash can, it appears that officials at the hearing have already made a decision. We last reported on this story here.

Although the school board wasn’t expected to take up Pursley’s case until its July 22 session, it looks like the school officials did not need much time to come to a decision regarding the embattled teacher’s job termination.

The Cobb County School District tribunal voted 6-1 in favor of terminating Pursley’s contract with Mt. Bethel Elementary School.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the lone tribunal member who voted against Pursley’s termination was Cobb County Board of Education member David Banks.

Pursley’s termination trial was held last Monday, where she tried to convince tribunal members that her actions toward the child had no malicious intent, and that she had a close relationship with him.

Pursley was accused of putting the young child with autism in a trash can while the child was having a meltdown, and several adults appeared to have witnessed the incident, including Mt. Bethel Elementary School’s Program Director, Heidi Nunn.

Source: Kustin Ove: East Cobb Patch:  Cobb Schools Tribunal Decides Fate of ‘Trash Can’ Teacher