A Winder-Barrow High School teacher and coach who was placed on administrative leave last month following a comment he made about a shooting incident in Wisconsin is no longer employed by the school district, Barrow County schools superintendent Chris McMichael said Monday.
McMichael would not confirm whether Michael Smith’s departure was a firing or resignation, classifying the matter as a personnel issue that still has to go before the board of education during a closed session later this month.
Smith, a science teacher who also was coaching the boys’ cross country team and was set to coach the girls’ soccer team at WBHS next spring, commented on an Aug. 27 Facebook post about Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old boy who was charged with shooting three people and killing two with a rifle during protests over the police shooting of a black man in Kenosha, Wis.
“Should have gotten a few more. Apparently 3 is the bag limit in Wisconsin,” Smith wrote in response to the post about the incident — an apparent reference to the limit states place on the number of animals hunters and fishermen can keep. Smith went on to contend that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense.
Smith was placed on administrative leave Aug. 28. The school board will next consider personnel recommendation lists at its Sept. 29 work session.
WBHS principal Derrick Maxwell said girls' cross country coach Kristi Burgamy is now heading up the boys' team as well, along with assistant Steve Power, while the school has yet to finalize plans for a new girls' soccer head coach.