GCPS Board Hasn't Changed Sick Leave Policy
Gwinnett County Public School spokesperson says no decision has been made. Mark Rinehart of Snellville was to meet officials to discuss further options.
Update, Aug. 24, 2:20 p.m.: Sloan Roach, spokesperson for Gwinnett County Public Schools, said that, despite previous reports, no decision has been reached.
Channel 2 Action News reported this week that Gwinnett County School Board will not change their leave policy for South Gwinnett math teacher Mark Rinehart.
Rinehart has been offered donated paid time off from his fellow teachers in order to be with his wife, Hannah, while she recovers from a bacterial infection and multiple amputations. However, that is not allowed under school board policy.
What are your thoughts on this situation? Should the GCPPS board change its policy? Tell us in the comments below.
"We just can't do it for one person. We have requests frequently to do the type of thing that they have requested. But we have 22,000 employees," Gwinnett County Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said to Channel 2 News.
The family of Hannah was not aware of the decision until they heard it on Channel 2, David Johnson, Hannah's brother, told Snellville Patch.
"Every decision they have made so far," said Johnson, "we have had to learn from the press."
Human Resources is trying to work with Mark to find a solution that will work for everyone. They will meet with Mark again today at 3:30.
If you would like to be involved in helping the Rineharts, leave a note in the comments and we can all work together to make a difference here.
Multiple fundraisers are being planned, including one at Medlock Park on Oct. 6 sponsored by Operation Appreciation. Before that, on Sept. 29, Westminster Presbyterian Church will host a fundraiser and blood drive.
"Even with my civilian and military careers combined, I don’t make enough money to be able to afford the expenses to come," said Mark Rinehart in a statement on a website dedicated to Hannah. "Immediate needs are the practical ones which include the living expenses Hannah’s salary would have covered as well as medical deductibles for this year and next. More distant needs include prosthetics, renovations to our home, vehicle modifications, and anything else that may not be covered by my health insurance for Hannah.
"If I truly want to ensure that I am doing everything within my power to help Hannah, I need to ask for the assistance of others. Please help me so that I, in turn, can help my wife.”
Patch will bring you more information soon on how to help and who is raising money for the family.