The mass cancellation of events caused many organizations to forego annual conventions and state meetings, including the annual Tennessee FFA Convention scheduled in March in Gatlinburg.

The FFA chapters at Stone Memorial High School and Cumberland County High School paid about $6,000 to secure rooms for the event, and they’ve been unable to recoup those funds.

School board attorney Earl Patton asked for permission to pursue legal action against the hotel company, Pigeon Forge Hotels, LLC. 

“The event was first postponed and then canceled all together due to COVID-19,” Patton told the board. “I don’t know that legal action will be necessary, but I would like to be authorized to take action.”

Teresa Boston, 8th District representative, moved to approve moving forward with legal action, supported by Rebecca Hamby, 7th District representative. The motion was unanimously approved.

The rooms were secured using federal funds as part of the career and technical education budget. Because the trip was not taken, the funds had to be repaid, resulting in further loss to the school system.

In other business, the following items were approved as part of the consent agenda:

•Volunteers for middle school sports, Pine View Elementary, Cumberland County High School, South Cumberland Elementary, Stone Elementary and Stone Memorial High School

•Overnight field trip for the CCHS boys’ basketball team to take part in a tournament Dec. 27-30 at Sevier County High School

•Overnight, out-of-state trip for the SMHS girls’ basketball team to attend the Blue Star High School Invitational tournament Dec. 18-21 in Florida

•State and national events for career and technical students at SMHS, CCHS and Stone Elementary

•Portrait and yearbook contract with SimplePix at Pleasant Hill Elementary

•Portrait and yearbook contract with LifeTouch and The Phoenix School

•Portrait contract with LifeTouch and SMHS

•Snack vending contract with Five Star Food Service and SMHS

•Contract with Jostens and SMHS for class rings, graduation supplies and yearbooks

•Acceptance of a $4,000 Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant at North Cumberland Elementary

•Acceptance of a Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant at Brown Elementary

•School-wide fundraiser for the Pleasant Hill Library

•Online book fair fundraiser at North Cumberland Elementary

•Disposal of surplus equipment at Brown Elementary, Pine View Elementary, North Cumberland Elementary, South Cumberland Elementary, Cumberland County High School, food service department, general education department and special education department

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.