Petition demands Superintendent Rick Smith and Ooltewah Coach Tank Montgomery resign

Rick Smith and Tank Montgomery
photo Rick Smith and Tank Montgomery

A new petition demands Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith and Ooltewah basketball coach Tank Montgomery resign amidst the handling of a team rape case.

More than 1,000 people have signed the petition, which was started by Tami Hess.

"This horrid incident was not even reported to the school board until well after the incident happened and the team CONTINUED to play in the tournaments!" Hess wrote in the petition. "Mr. Smith refuses to speak with parents about the concerns they have for their children and refuses to hold any of the adults responsible for scarring this poor child!"

Smith made his first extensive public remarks about the assault more than two weeks after the incident during an unannounced school board meeting which violated Tennessee's Sunshine Law.

According to a transcript, Smith said that action is being taken by his staff "in the hope that nothing like this ever happens again."

Hess plans to take the petition's signatures to a school board meeting on Jan. 21, nearly one month after the attack.

The aunt of the victim has also started a petition asking that the three juveniles accused the case be charged as adults. More than 4,000 people have signed that petition.

The suspects are expected in court Jan. 26 at 8:30 a.m.

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