Jemison High principal mistakenly attached blank termination letter on email sent to coaches

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. –  The principal of Mae Jemison High School sent out an email this week telling more than a dozen coaches the school would be going in a different direction and they`d soon receive a ‘separation form.’ The school district says it`s all a misunderstanding.

WHNT News 19 learned Wednesday that the original email was sent early that morning. In addition to telling the coaches the school would be going in a different direction, it also informed the coaches they needed to turn in their keys and equipment.

Adding to the confusion, it was a form letter, with no names filled in. The notice had new principal Lynette Alexander`s name on it.

After we inquired, a Huntsville City Schools spokesperson and School Board Member Michelle Watkins, who represents the school’s district on the board, told us the notice was sent out in error. Basically the wrong notice had been attached and no coaches are being terminated.

A second email apparently went out Wednesday, saying the first email was sent inadvertently. Watkins tells us the second email outlined to coaches their expected responsibilities.

We`ve been told by district officials that the issue appears to have come up after school officials grew concerned about coaches not providing required permission slips and getting related approvals before taking teams on out-of-town trips.

It`s not yet clear to us how long coaches had the first email – regarding apparent termination – before they were notified about the error.

But Chaundra Jones, a Jemison parent and active boys basketball booster club member, said the problem shouldn`t have happened. She told WHNT News 19,  “I received numerous phone calls and text messages that left many feeling anxious, uncertain, and upset regarding their coaching status and equally as uncertain of the status of the campus and the students. Having a letter of this nature sent led to unnecessary anxiety for students, staff, and faculty.”

We requested a copy of the second email – the one the district reps say cleared up the confusion. We want to see how long it took to resolve the issue. We haven`t yet received that letter.