DeKalb teacher reinstate

Atlanta, GA (CBS46) Parents and students are fighting to reinstate a beloved coach accused of giving a student an unusual form of punishment.

Supporters are lining up and speaking out in the defense of James O'Donnell. 

O' Donnell is a 39 year veteran of teaching. He serves as a teacher and coach at Henderson Mill Elementary School in Atlanta. He was recently put on leave after being accused of making a student stand in the rain after misbehaving.

Multiple parents say their children saw what happened and they say the coach forced the student to do it. Many don't believe the accusations, including supporters who have raised nearly $20,000 to help pay for O'Donnell's legal bills.

"People are really putting their money where their mouth is and also their time," said Charles Hankla, a former student of O'Donnell's. "People are going out, protesting, going to meetings, wearing t-shirts, painting their cars because they care. So, it really shows the impact that a good teacher can have on a community."

DeKalb County schools Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green says the district can't publicly discuss personnel matters but assures CBS46 News that the incident is being investigated.

"It's still underway, it's still being considered, I'm not at liberty to talk about a lot of the details. They may be hearing a lot of other information from different sources but the real facts are in the process that we're going through," said Dr. Green.

Dr. Green also says that within the next week or two, we should know more about what will happen with O'Donnell.

Stay with CBS46 News for updates.

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