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Family once again at odds with district

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.

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.

FUNDRAISING EVENTS

— 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

Comments

rco1847 1 year, 7 months ago

You can hardly expect copassion from this Republican run county or their phoney Baptist friends.

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NewsReader 1 year, 7 months ago

It is intuitively obvious you have an axe to grind. Put a sock in it. This doesn't have anything to do with being Republican or Baptist. It has to do with being stupid.

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 7 months ago

If the Democrats hadn't made all the hoops we have to jump through.

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notblind 1 year, 7 months ago

It's a well known fact that the education system at all levels is dominated by liberals.

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NewsReader 1 year, 7 months ago

Sloan, please tell your idiot bosses to quit being a part of the problem and start being a part of the solution. They are creating a publicity nightmare with all of this foolishness. Find a solution and help these people. Presenting them with one obstacle after another is counterproductive.

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R 1 year, 7 months ago

"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."

GCPS you are a big employer, but this isn't getting any better for you in the public eye.

Dear irked Principal, please submit for county approved training on sensitivity.

You are PAID quite handsomely in your post. Please make use of your educational qualifications that we pay you so highly for.

Atten Mr Willbanks, clean-up on aisle nine...

Or please page the Gwinnett Chamber if otherwise occupied and unable to respond.

Surely that 250K invoice bought some type of response time guarantee...

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motherinduluth 1 year, 7 months ago

This is the same school board that is trying to demonstrate how wonderful "local" control of our schools is. Want to see how responsive the school board is and prove to yourself this is not an isolated instance? Pick a local school issue or general GCPS gripe and try to get a written response from your elected school board member. You can write them, fax them, e-mail them, and/or address them personally at a school board meeting. Now, call GDOE with the same concern. You will get a response and be given any information and resources applicable to your concern including GCPS "local control" contacts.

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teelee 1 year, 7 months ago

Typical bureaucratic red tape and poor weak leadership.

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JCJB 1 year, 7 months ago

This tragic event indeed makes the school board and the powers that be @ the school look stupid, ridiculous, and FOS. What a bunch of non caring idiots. It sure would be nice to see just a little support for this family. Not taking anything away from Amy, but she got an entire house for free from the community. WTH is wrong with you people?

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dman 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey, I am all about raising funds and even giving some for a good cause. And the folks that are "irked", well they may have just been quiet when asked what they thought. But, it is correct that you MUST have a permit from the Sheriff's dept to do a RAFFLE, which looks like they did. People don't come to your house without asking or getting permission, so the principal deserves the same consideration. So, if they would have told him everything up front, maybe he wouldn't have gotten "irked." Just saying.

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motherinduluth 1 year, 7 months ago

GCPS principals are easily "irked" these days. With the cuts to teachers and other educational resources coupled with increased performance expectations, it's tough. However, I expect better, more compassionate, and more timely, response from our school board. They tend to be very off-putting and when emotions are high it's tougher. I agree about following the rules, but the least GCPS could do is provide a knowledgeable contact to help navigate the legal requirements.

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R 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey it’s also about WHO has the doctorate level education … That usually includes some form of communication and human psychology dynamics.

Irked is one poor reason to make the school system spokesperson find out something the principal could have done much easier. Or are the legal beagles plugged in so deep at this point no one can breathe?

Communications seems strained; you’d think they were being asked to provide details on the chamber funding or something…

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kevin 1 year, 7 months ago

and they wonder why people are sick of government? They all want to control every aspect of our lives and make you more dependent on them so they can keep growing in the number of employees and unions. Enjoy the system you all voted for.

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ssilover1 1 year, 7 months ago

First one in line to use this family tragedy for their political goals, pls. stand up. Then go to the end of the line. You make me sick. And I know the support for this family is strong and should be.

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Mack711 1 year, 7 months ago

How aboug asking the Chamber of Commerce for some of the funds that the BOE gave to them that was wasted to assist this family. We need to help our educators because Wilbanks and his board is not willing, and has proved it.

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kfbet 1 year, 7 months ago

Ok, folks--what's going on with this family is horrible. Just horrible. But all the fussing and screaming at Gwinnett schools seems a bit misplaced. Let's say the school system says ok to allowing the husband's coworkers to donate their sick leave to him. What happens to their retirement funding--it's all calculated based on percentages and the law. I can't tell you the specifics because it's beyond my ability to do but when sick leave is taken it does change those calculations. The school system is HUGE and what's done for one must be done for all. So if this is allowed for the Rineharts, what about the teacher who has a child undergoing chemo and is out of sick leave? What about the custodian who's wife is facing a serious illness and wants time off but has no more sick leave? What about the administrator who is diagnosed with cancer and can't work but has several children to support and is out of sick leave? What about all these other employees struggling with horrible circumstances? Where does GCPS draw the line and how do they decide which circumstance is "awful enough" to warrant special treatment? There are other options for Mr Rinehart to consider. He could work part-time. He could look at on-line teaching. It's not the responsibility of GCPS to fix this predicament. He's in a tough place and will have to make tough choices . It sucks. But it's reality. I applaud his family and friends for setting up fund raisers. I would argue this is exactly what they should be doing. That's what we are all supposed to do for our loved ones. It's a great way to channel energies when so much of what's going on is out of their control. I wish this family all the best. Truly, I cannot imagine how difficult this must be.

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NewsReader 1 year, 7 months ago

You're missing the point kfbet. We understand that it is a bad situation. We also understand that the rules should apply equally, but we all know that they don't. Did the teacher at Jones whose child had a heart transplant get the same treatment as Mark Rinehart? In any event, I'm less concerned about whether or not GCPS helps the Rineharts and more concerned about them being an impediment to Rinehart's progress.

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R 1 year, 7 months ago

And yet in the backdrop somewhere is the Chamber Funding Issue ... Taxpayer funds used to support a private group.

GCPS I believe utilizes a combination of self insurance / insurance products and even 150K could go a long way in some type of crisis fund. Its all about choices and there are options.

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JCJB 1 year, 7 months ago

Gwinnett Hospital System does it, GC schools could ask how they do it. It can't be all that difficult.

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Gwinnettsince1991 1 year, 7 months ago

The principal should have asked to see the license up front so he needs to be coached. On a Macro level, the school system is losing the faith of its "stakeholders" as they like to call us, with its continued incompetence. Its much like the political climate of today where after a while, we grow tired of poor decisions and expect better from those who champion themselves as working on our behalf.

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ssilover1 1 year, 7 months ago

I bet being a principal is a lot of fun.

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