The Effingham County Board of Education suspended Effingham County High School coach Nathaniel Hayes without pay for 60 days at a hearing on Wednesday.
Superintendent Randy Shearouse, ECHS Principal Yancy Ford, several members of the ECHS basketball team, parents, community members and teachers testified at the hearing, which started at 9 a.m.
The board gave its ruling at approximately 6:30 p.m., voting 4-1.
Hayes said he is thankful for the decision.
“I’m thankful for the board for giving me the opportunity for a second chance,” he said, adding his thanks to God, his family and the community for their support.
“It’s a relief to finally get both sides out, and that’s what happened today,” Hayes said. “I appreciate the board being fair.”
Hayes, who is also an assistant football coach, will not be allowed to coach any sport in the school system for the remainder of the year and for the 2008-2009 school year. He is required to complete a mandatory behavioral/anger management class, one-on-one evaluation and counseling approved by the superintendent at Hayes’
He has been “placed on permanent probation of zero tolerance for using any type of verbal and/or physical intimidation of students.”
Prior to the hearing community members gathered across the street from the board office in support of Hayes, who has been at ECHS since 1993.