KOSSUTH - Robert Keenum has been fired from his position as Kossuth High School principal after serving for less than one semester, The Daily Corinthian newspaper reports.
Keenum has been officially notified of the decision by district officials to terminate his employment and has the right to request a hearing before the school board to appeal the decision, said district Superintendent Stacy Suggs.
Suggs said he could not offer any comment on the reason for the termination on the advice of the school district's attorney, citing personnel privacy laws.
Keenum was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 25, by the Mississippi Highway Patrol for allegedly driving under the influence on U.S. Highway 45.
Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar confirmed Keenum was arrested around 10:30 p.m. that night by MHP troopers near the intersection of U.S. Highway 45 and Gaston Road and charged with DUI-refusal for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine his blood alcohol level. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Under Mississippi's implied consent statute, refusal to submit to the test results in an automatic charge of DUI.
Tolar said jail records show Keenum was booked into the Prentiss County Jail at approximately 10:30 p.m. on the DUI charge, along with a charge of speeding and having no proof of liability insurance and was released at approximately 7:30 a.m. the following morning. A hearing in the case has been set for Jan. 12, 2010 in Prentiss County Justice Court.
Suggs said he can't comment on whether Keenum's termination is in any way related to the recent arrest due to privacy laws that prohibit him from releasing personnel information.
Keenum began his tenure as KHS principal at the beginning of the current semester, having most recently served as principal of Hickory Flat Attendance Center in Benton County.
Brant Sappington/Daily Corinthian