Special Photo Hannah Rinehart and her husband of two years, Mark, a math teacher at South Gwinnett High School are seen here. Doctors believe Hannah contracted a rare infection from bacteria commonly found in dog saliva, which resulted in the amputation of her hands and feet.
— Texas Roadhouse, Snellville, fundraiser event, 4 p.m. to closing Sept. 10.
— Operation Appreciation Auction, 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 Westminister Presbyterian Church, 1438 Sheridan Road, NE, Atlanta.
SNELLVILLE — A family at odds with the school district over its refusal to bend sick leave policy feels slighted again.
According to a note on the family’s website from David Johnson — brother of ailing Snellville resident Hannah Rinehart — Gwinnett County Public Schools nixed a raffle donation event that was scheduled for a South Gwinnett High School football game Friday night, an event that sought to raise money for Hannah, who is battling a bacterial infection that resulted in the quadruple amputation of her limbs.
“We received word today from school administration that all of the advertising needs to be reversed and that all of the flyers should be torn down,” Johnson said. “I am so sorry for all of the hard work that went into the event, but evidently Gwinnett County Public Schools wants to make sure anyone wanting to help Mark and Hannah should be prevented.”
A spokesperson with the school district, however, said that’s not true.
“The school approved a fundraiser to sell T-shirts, and the proceeds are going to the Rineharts,” said Sloan Roach. “The school did not, however, approve a raffle. In order to have a raffle, groups have to have a license, which is obtained through the sheriff’s department.”
After obtaining more information, Roach said her understanding of the situation was that the group organizing the raffle had a license, but had not shared as much with the school. The inclusion of the raffle on flyers featuring the T-shirt sale — an official school event — irked South’s principal and caused the initial confusion.
Roach said those in charge of the raffle need only visit the principal and present proof of a license.
“We want to make sure that we’re following all the rules and regulations,” Roach said. “It really just sounds like there was some communication that needed to happen that didn’t happen.”
Johnson said he was told that “if anyone has donated to the raffle, their monies should be refunded immediately.”
Johnson has been the most vocal family member as his sister continues to fight for her life at Northside Hospital.
Rinehart fell ill in June after contracting a rare bacterial infection from dog saliva. By late July, the tissue in her hands and feet had deteriorated to the point that her extremities had to be amputated to save her life.
Husband, Mark, a math teacher at South Gwinnett has been by her bedside as much as his job will allow.
Fellow teachers at South have offered to help Mark by donating their sick and vacation time. A Gwinnett County Public Schools policy however won’t allow for it.
Despite a disagreement with the district over the policy, the Rineharts have said they’ve gotten much assistance from the community.
“The love and support from everyone has been overwhelming,” Mark said. “From the newfound families who have faced the same challenges and the old friends that have surrounded us in love, to the perfect strangers from all over the world who have lifted Hannah faithfully up in prayer…we’d like to say thank you.”
For more information on how to help the family, visit www.hannahrinehart.org.
— Staff Writer Tyler Estep contributed to this article