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Deliberations continue, tribunal reconvenes March 19

Photo by Johnny Jackson 
Attorney Borquaye Thomas (left) sits with his client, Genghis Shakhan, Tuesday during a Clayton County Public Schools employment hearing. Shakhan is an assistant principal at Riverdale High School accused of unnecessarily restraining students in three separate incidents last October.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Attorney Borquaye Thomas (left) sits with his client, Genghis Shakhan, Tuesday during a Clayton County Public Schools employment hearing. Shakhan is an assistant principal at Riverdale High School accused of unnecessarily restraining students in three separate incidents last October.

JONESBORO — Tribunal deliberations will reconvene March 19 in the employment hearing of Riverdale High School assistant principal Genghis Shakhan.

Stephanie Banks is the hearing officer presiding over the case with tribunal members Linda Holloman, Samuel Jackson and Arletta Brinson. Ending a hiatus that began March 1, they spent hours deliberating Tuesday before deciding to come together again in a week.

Shakhan has been accused of using unnecessary force to restrain students in three separate altercations in October. Clayton County Public Schools’ attorney recommended his termination during a tribunal that began Feb. 20, as Shakhan and his attorney answered the charges. He has been on administrative leave since.

Shakhan’s attorney, Borquaye Thomas, remains optimistic that the tribunal will rule in his client’s favor.

We are expecting that he will be cleared of all charges,” Thomas told the Clayton News Daily.

Winston Denmark is the attorney representing the school district. Denmark argued that, while students were unruly and engaged in verbal attacks — two of the incidents on Oct. 19, the other on Oct. 23 — none rose to the level of a physical threat.

Thomas argued the incidents did escalate to physical threats to his client. He said one ended in the arrest of a student who was subsequently “charged with disruption of a public school and assault.”

If Shakhan keeps his job, the one thing both sides seem to agree on is that he shouldn’t return to Riverdale High.

“We’re going to ask that he be reassigned to another school,” Thomas said. “We’re talking about a school [Riverdale] that is known for its violence.”