School board votes to suspend former Gaffney High administrator

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CHEROKEE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – A Cherokee County teacher will be suspended without pay after being accused of using school facilities for non-school-related reasons.

Dr. Alan Ruppe has worked in the Cherokee County School District for 25 years. Many of those years, he was an assistant principal at Gaffney High School, heading the 9th grade academy; but recently, he was transferred to Blacksburg High School and reassigned as a PE teacher.

The Cherokee County school board went into executive session at their meeting Monday night to determine Ruppe’s future with the district after hearing his appeal.

According to school officials, this comes after a recommendation that Ruppe be disciplined for unauthorized use of school facilities.

In a vote of 5 to 1, with one board member abstaining from voting, it was decided that Ruppe would be suspended for 10 days without pay.

7 News reached out to board members about the decision.

Board member Billy Blackwell told us he voted in support of the suspension because there were safety violations at hand.

Board member Barry Bailey–the only one to vote against the suspension–said he did so because he believes in giving people a second chance.

We spoke with parents about the news and, while none were comfortable going on camera, the most common reaction was shock.

We also spoke with Gaffney High School alumni who say they remember Dr. Ruppe as a friendly face in the hallway, and former colleagues say they believe he is a good person. They, too, were surprised by the news.

7 News reached out to Ruppe and he told us he feels he’s done nothing wrong.

At this time, it’s unclear which facilities were used, when they were used, and what they may have been used for.

We will continue to follow this story and keep you updated as we learn more.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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