The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






An Interview With Tenured Bradley Country Teacher Greg Cain... by Tonya Brantley

Recent allegations that history teacher Greg Cain violated Bradley County schools' internet usage policy with excessive use of  the Bradley News Weekly's online forum and accusations that he posted hundreds of messages during classroom time have prompted Mr. Cain to clarify what has been printed in other publications. In an interview with The People News on August 22,  Greg Cain told his side of  the story.

What do you want to clarify about previous articles that were written and the statements about your internet use during school hours?
"The hundreds of postings, that makes it sound like it's instant messaging conversations instead of posting. A posting would really be shorter than an e-mail."

When you started posting, did you think that it was a violation or did you know then?
"I didn't even know there was an internet policy. I don't think any teacher in the system did. It's on the website, I've read it and its vague."

Before you begin a new school year, they don't go over the policies with you?
"They never have. What's funny is after that board meeting, that very next day, Mr. McDaniel hands out the internet policy to the principals on paper. After the July 8th meeting on July 9th, they had a principal's meeting and he hands out the internet policy."

That's the first time it had ever been brought to light?
"First I've ever heard. I told Mr. McDaniel during that meeting, you need to have an in-service where teachers know what they can and can't do. Even on our internet policy, it doesn't say anything about termination. If the Bradley News Weekly is such a bad site, why is there a link off of our web site where you can link onto it?"

On which site?
" I joined up, I think, August 2007, I looked back, under Crocs."

Is that the name in question?

"No, they got me for Crocs, Cerebral Assassin, Ben Dover, Suzie Homemaker, the Rock, which I have the passwords to those, and I signed up under Crocs. And other people, I'd given them my password too."

Did they ever specify which particular posting they were referring to?

"I went in there on June 27th when they called me. Sammy Humphrey, the secretary down there said Mr. Taylor and Mr. McDaniel need to meet with you on Monday. That was going to be the 30th. That was Bob's last day in office. I said, Okay, I'll be there. She said one o'clock. I said okay, I'll be there. I got to thinking, I'm a worry wart, I got to get this over with, so I called back and said I can't meet Monday, I'll come in today. So she calls back and says they can meet with you today at three o'clock. I said do I need to bring anybody? Because in the back of my mind, I was thinking do I need to bring an attorney? I'm not a member of the union. If I was a member of the union, this would have never even happened. They couldn't have done anything, and they knew that too. And I didn't get an answer."

Whether to bring anyone?

"Nope. So I walked in there at three o'clock, there was Mr. Taylor, Mr. McDaniel and Mr. Humberd the technology guy and they hand that paper out. That was all the charges that the Banner said, that's what that paper said. It said, will bring up charges for termination, violation of internet policy for excessive postings."

According to the school board, was it about the content or just the postings?

"He told me excessive use of the internet, and I said hold on a minute, you're singling me out. He said, no we're not. I said you're singling me out. So you're telling me you're going to check everybody starting at the central office and work your way all the way to Walker Valley? 'Well, yours was excessive'.. But he never would tell me what excessive was. And they showed me all the things and I said. Now if you check on the internet, you'll find out teachers are doing online shopping, especially during Christmastime. There's probably people doing the EBay. There are people that probably have side businesses that they're checking on. I said I had an intern. I don't believe... I love Mr. McDaniel, I think he's got a good heart, but I don't think he understood what an intern was. It's different from a school teacher."


"My intern was with me from the first day of school 2007 to the last day of school 2008. She already had a B.S. degree. First semester, she observed me. I doubt that I even posted anything the first semester because I didn't have time. I did all the teaching. Second semester, for her to get her internship, she had to teach. Matter of fact, also I told her you need to sign up and be a substitute. Like, in our department, there would be somebody out. I'd let her substitute. to make money for college. I would do the teachers classes that were out and let her keep teaching ours."

While she was teaching your class, you had time to observe her teaching, but then you also had time to post on the forum. Did you post while she was teaching?

"A few. See, I went back and checked a lot of those and a lot of my postings were at a quarter till eight in the morning."

Why do you think you were singled out?

"Because some of the things those names said, hits hard at the mark. Like the illegal meeting at the Farmhouse. School board members being at schools all the time, things like that. A lot of those things were said at night time though. I look back, I don't see that much.. I just don't see it. I really got fired up after the January meeting when they came against Mark Grissom. When they tried to ruin his business, that's when I got involved basically. They had a thing on there... 'nominate a hero.' A bunch of times, I'd nominate him for being a man and standing up and not stooping down to their level.
After Mr. Taylor called me in, and we were talking about all of this, constantly being pressured, wouldn't really tell me, wouldn't show me postings and stuff like that. And at some point in the meeting he said, I'll tell you what, he said if you'll go ahead and retire, he said, I'll tear this up and nobody will know about it."

What was Mr. Taylor's demeanor when he was saying this to you?

"Cocky. He was arrogant. Johnny McDaniel and Scott Humberd, during the two hour meeting, they might have spoke combined ten minutes, and they looked sick. They knew, they knew."


Greg Cain Interview Continued