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Marion Co. School Resource Officer suspended after making racial remark

UPDATE — 9/20/16 @ 1:20pm CDT:

Whitwell High SRO Anthony Gamble

Deputy Anthony Gamble

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett has confirmed to MarionCountyMessenger.com that the deputy and school resource officer (SRO) at Whitwell High School has been removed from the program, after a remark he made to a student.

Burnett says Anthony Gamble has been removed from the SRO position at Whitwell High School after Director of Schools Mark Griffith told him about the racially-charged remark made to a black student there earlier this week while he was observing a biology class.

Reports say that the biology class was being shown a dead raccoon, when a black student in the class asked the SRO and others what they were doing — and Gamble responded with, “They’re skinning your brother.”

The Sheriff says that Gamble admitted to the statement, but said he meant it as a joke. He says Gamble has been with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years and that he has a good heart, but his alleged behavior will not be tolerated.

Gamble is also suspended from the Sheriff’s Office pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest…

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Previous Story:

A Marion County School Resource Officer has been suspended after making racially-charged remarks earlier this week.

It happened on Wednesday at Whitwell High School when a biology class was being shown a dead raccoon.

An African-American student in the class asked the SRO what they were doing, and that’s when the officer reportedly said, “They’re skinning your brother.”

The incident and statement was reported to the school principal, Teena Casseday.

Whitwell High SRO Anthony Gamble

Whitwell High SRO Anthony Gamble

The officer, assumed to be Officer Anthony Gamble who’s been the school’s SRO since the program was introduced in the county last year, admitted to the principal that he made the remark saying it was made in a joking matter.

In an interview with WRCB-TV (bit.ly/2dFAvk4), Dr. Mark Griffith, Superintendent of Marion County Schools, says the SRO has been suspended following an internal affairs investigation along with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.

Griffith says regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the officer will probably no longer be an SRO at the school, but that decision rests with Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett.

Reprimand for the statement would also come from Burnett.

This makes the second year for the SRO program in Marion County Schools. Since the program began it’s been greeted with positive response from the teachers, staff, students, and members of the communities served.

We will continue to follow the latest on this developing story here at MarionCountyMessenger.com as information becomes available…

 

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