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Parent sues seeking access to Gate City High, Middle

CLIFFORD JEFFERY • May 9, 2007 at 10:06 AM

GATE CITY - A Kingsport man filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning seeking to regain his right to be present at Gate City High School and Gate City Middle School and enter a school system bus.

In February, Randy Johnson, the stepfather of a Gate City High School and Gate City Middle School student, was sent a letter from Principal Michael Brickey restricting him from school property.

The letter prevented Johnson from being at the high school, middle school or on any county school bus without first obtaining "specific permission from the principal of Gate City High School, Michael Brickey."

The letter also notified Johnson that violation of the notice would result in a criminal charge of trespassing.

"(Superintendent) James Scott, Michael Brickey and the Scott County School Board have denied rights to free access to public property without justification," according to Johnson's suit.

Johnson says he has not done anything to warrant the restriction and has been given no reason for being excluded from public property or events conducted on school property.

He is seeking an injunction against the school system's restriction, and he is asking for undetermined punitive damages.

The case was submitted by Johnson's attorney, Sid Rhoton, about 9 a.m. Tuesday. Rhoton and Johnson could not be reached for comment.

Scott County Schools Attorney Dean Foster said he could not comment on pending litigation.

"There will be an appropriate response (to the suit) at the appropriate time in the legal proceeding," Foster said.

No hearing date has been set or the case.

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