Knox out as South Rowan principal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SALISBURY — The school board has voted to transfer Dr. Donald Knox, principal of South Rowan High School, to another position within the system.

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education approved the transfer after a closed session at its June 17 meeting.

Chairman Richard Miller confirmed the decision on Tuesday evening, but did not say where Knox was transferred. He said it would not be appropriate for him to comment until Knox has been allowed the chance to appeal.

“He has a grievance process to address any concerns he has in that transfer,” Miller said. “This is a personnel issue that is not for public debate until he has had the benefit of all of the processes available to him.”

Depending on the classification of an employee, school system policies and state laws give varying procedures to appeal a dismissal, demotion or other action. It’s not clear which policy would apply to Knox or whether the transfer would be considered a demotion.

Miller said Tuesday that he did not know offhand how long Knox will have to appeal. He said he also did not remember the exact position to which Knox was transferred.

Knox did not return calls for comment late Tuesday.

Official minutes of the June 17 meeting were not available Tuesday night. A personnel report sent to the Post on June 18 did not list the transfer, possibly because it hasn’t been finalized.

Knox has been principal of South Rowan since 2008.

In October 2012, Knox was suspended with pay after a former student told the sheriff’s office he had been assaulted by Knox in a hallway near the cafeteria the previous May.

Tanner Hoke, the 2012 school valedictorian, told deputies he did not report the assault until September because he had feared retaliation.

The sheriff’s office closed and cleared the case as unfounded.

Knox resumed his duties at South Rowan in November 2012 after an internal investigation by the Rowan-Salisbury School System.

At that time, school officials said they found no basis for further disciplinary action. They gave no other details about the investigation.

Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.