Update: This story has been updated with comments from the director.
On Aug. 9, Coffee County Board of Education approved for the Director of Schools Dr. Charles Lawson to enter into a contract with Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to provide bus services to shuttle festival employees to the property leading up to the show. The action was made contingent upon approval by the board’s attorney.
Presumably unknown to the board, the contract that was signed Aug. 20 is in apparent violation of board policy.
Board of Education policy 3.402 concerning Special Use of School Vehicles says, “County-owned buses may not be used by groups outside the Coffee County School System except in cases of emergencies,” which it defines parenthetically as “catastrophe relief.”
Dr. Charles Lawson responded:
According to the contract, the county will provide drivers and necessary resources to provide the service.
Policy 1.6 states that “any board policy or part thereof may be suspended by an affirmative vote by a majority of the members of the Board,” yet policy 3.402 was not addressed at the meeting.
Dr. Lawson, Chairman of the Board of Education Dr. Gary Nester and Director of Transportation Tim Morris have reached out to for clarification on the policy and for details of the availability of drivers to fulfill the contract.
Dr. Lawson also furnished the following schedule for the contracted bus runs: