Wilson County (TN) Board of Education “lets” Capt. John Parker “go”

School System Leaves Soldier Behind

Via Blackfive comes this story of an Army Reserve soldier who lost his job shortly after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan. The school says he wasn’t fired…he was “let go”. And he was let go primarily because he wasn’t available to teach his classes, Wilson County Director of Schools Dr. Jim Duncan says:

“It was like we got these classes going and you’re supposed to be the teacher,” Duncan tells [investigative reporter Jennifer] Kraus.

“So, you’re saying his teaching position should have been his priority?”Kraus asks.

“Firmly. Yes.”

I don’t know what planet this Duncan guy is from, but he’s certainly confused. And if you aren’t sure, how about this:

“Could he have said something to his superiors? ‘Look, I really need to get back there. If everything is equal, I need to get back there (to Wilson Central High School) January 3rd because that’s when my class starts and I need to be with those kids for the full semester.'”

And this person is the director of a school system. You know school. Where kids are supposed the learn things. Apparently they’re supposed to learn that a commitment to the nation’s military can be broken as long as “everything is equal”.

Murdoc’s learned that the Wilson County Director of Schools appears to be a complete idiot.

I will caution readers to remember that sometimes the media gets things wrong. And this sort of story is sure gather a lot of attention and generate a fair amount of outrage. So keep your cool. It will be interesting to see what really happened here.


  1. Well I think I know what happened. Jim Duncan seems to think that this guy could have just told his chain of command, in reasonable terms, that he needed to be back at his job. This assertion alone is enough to conclude that ‘Dr’ Duncan is a fucking idiot.

  2. I read the article and believe that what school system did may be legally permissible but a public relations disaster. If he had been a full-time employee, of course the school would not be able to fire him. If the media got it right and he was a contract employee, however, then there is no legal obligation for them to renew his contract. That is why serving in the Reserves is such a big risk to business owners, contractors, and farmers. Regardless of the legality, this was a pretty obvious unpatriotic public relations blunder by the school – made worse by the asinine comments from the school director.

  3. Why didn’t they just hire one of there substitute teachers for a year, and then when he was back he takes over the old job. odd

  4. Wilson County Schools mission statement ‘The mission of the Wilson County Schools in partnership with the community, is to offer students a world-class education that will challenge minds, inspire hopes, and encourage learning.’ http://www.wcschools.com/ Pretty words, but their actions demonstrate a lack of commitment to their ideals. Time to fire the director.

  5. Hmmm, sounds like a Soldier’s and Sailor’s Relief Act Lawsuit if ever there was one. In fact I think the Justice Department ought to be in the middle of this one.

  6. Actually, it would fall under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, providing of course that he could prove that it was mainly because of his service, and not because of low attendance for his class. If it were the case that it was because of his service, I would be in full favor of the harshest punishment available to Mr. Duncan. As soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, we do not need civilians to ‘phase out’ our jobs because of our service. I think that it will be interesting how this plays out. I would be curious as to how the courts interpret reemployment as it pertains to contractual jobs.

  7. I live in Nashville, Tennessee and Wilson county is just east of Nashville. I saw this actual interview on TV and as I was watching what Duncan was saying my mouth just dropped open. This Duncan guy has stepped in a pile but does not yet smell the stink. I own my own small company with about 25 employees and can understand how hard it is to get and keep employees but really…………. give this brave soldier a break. Keep up the good work MO.

  8. As a Nashville homeowner and a combat vet from years ago, I about choked on my coffee when Channel 5 reported this. Who is this Dr. Duncan? Does he really believe his own comments? Hopefully, a Federal Judge will put Duncan in his place. The residents of Wilson County,TN should send Duncan packing. I hope Wilson County does not rely on any Federal Funds.

  9. i hate duncan. i’m a high school student in wilson county and he is absolutely the worst he needs to be let go himself. no one cares for him!!!

  10. I work in Wilson County Schools and ‘Dr.’ Duncan isn’t an idiot, he is an egotistical bully. Like most bullies though, he is actually a spineless potato. He uses the power of his office bully. Why hasn’t something been done about this? It is an outrage!!!!