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Teacher upset by false accusations from students
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Dibrell teacher Marc Pyburn addresses the Warren County School Board to propose a policy change in how accusations are handled at school after he claims students falsely accused him of touching a student in order to get him fired. - photo by Bethany Porter

A Dibrell School teacher claims he was falsely accused of touching another student by three students aiming to get him fired and he wants a policy change to make sure this situation does not happen again.

Marc Pyburn addressed the Warren County School Board on Monday night during the public comment segment and told the members that students recently attempted to get him fired for enforcing the cellphone policy. 

“I am tough, but I am fair. At our school we enforce the phone policy,” said Pyburn. “I had a situation where some students didn’t appreciate the fact that we were enforcing this. I had a student threaten to get me fired over this. Two days later I had a student stand up and say to me, ‘How can you sleep at night when you have fondled another student?’ So I sent this student down, another student down, and it took two and a half hours before this matter came about that all of this was made up to get me fired.” 

Pyburn says he has been an educator for 26 years, and eight of those years were in Gallatin where he says he had his life threatened multiple times. He says this situation was worse than any of the things he experienced in Gallatin.  

“Rarely in my 26 years of teaching have I ever woken up thinking I have got to go to school today, 99% of the time I go to school because I love it. I teach because it is a calling and I love to teach. That has been stripped from me. Completely stripped from me. I have taken some time off and I am going back on Friday, but it is not with the same enthusiasm as it has been for the last 26 years I will be honest with you,” said Pyburn.

Pyburn proposed that if somebody has committed a crime or is accused of committing a crime the SRO take over immediately so those who are falsely accusing others know there can be serious legal consequences. 

“The policy change that I would like to see – these students lie for two and a half hours to the principal and there is no consequence when you are lying to the principal. What I would like to see us do is if a teacher or student is accused of a crime or there is suspicion of a crime the SRO takes over right away,” said Pyburn. “It works both ways. If the SRO would have gotten involved right away and told the student, ‘OK if you are telling me this and you file a false report you are going to be in trouble,’ this would have stopped right away, but I sat two and a half hours in an office knowing I am 100% innocent with all these thoughts in my head when this could have been taken care of right away.”

He also warned School Board members of TikTok challenges that are happening that may lead to more situations similar to his. 

“The TikTok challenges in March, April, and May were to get teachers fired or hit a teacher,” said Pyburn. “This is going to become more prevalent just because of the way society has gone and I fully believe if we adopt this policy the SROs can get together right away and take care of this bypassing anything else and it would allow whatever needs to happen to happen whether the person is guilty or innocent.”

He went on to say that teachers are getting frustrated because they feel disrespected and that many teachers are leaving the profession because of it.