BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - A day after two students were arrested at Baldwin County High School related to a handgun found on campus, the principal there has been suspended. According to Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee, Johnny Cabaniss has an impeccable record over his years with the school system. That didn't prevent the school board from suspending him for 20 days without pay on January 17.
"I made a recommendation based upon an investigation and evidence that Mr. Cabaniss receive an unpaid leave and the board heard that recommendation and acted to support that," Lee said Friday.
Dr. Lee would not discuss what the investigation was related to or when it began stating that it was an internal personnel matter. He did explain the process by which the punishment is reached.
"We look at the occurrence. We look at the response to it," explained Lee. "We look at the employment history of any employee. We consider how much of an asset they've been to generations and generations of children."
Although school officials said they are following policy by not discussing the situation, those with children at Baldwin County High School are concerned and said they want answers.
"I have two grandsons and niece and nephew (at BCHS). Yah, great niece and nephew, and it does concern me because he used to be my baby son's coach too," Sandra Emmons said.
"I think people need to know. You've got family that goes there and people need to know," added Judy Stabler.
Lee said he understands the concerns of parents, but he wants to reassure them that their children's education is in good hands during the suspension.
"I will make an attempt to reassure people that they don't need to be worried…that their children aren't under any threat, and that's the best thing I can tell them. Their children are under no threat. I don't have any worries about how that school will operate in the future. I think things will be back to normal after he's back to school after his suspension," Lee said.
Dr. Lee said Cabaniss is an asset to that school and an asset to the community which played into the punishment for the undisclosed incident.
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