Lawyer speaks about Holloway’s arrest

by Celia Shortt

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Holloway

The attorney for former Evans Middle School chorus teacher Johnny Holloway, D. Scott Cummins, said his client may have made mistakes but cared deeply for his students.

The morning of Aug. 18, Holloway resigned from the Coweta County School System. On Aug. 19, he was charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

The Newnan Police Department found the marijuana at Holloway’s home on Aug. 18. The search warrant was executed at 1 p.m., and Holloway was not home at the time.

Cummins said Holloway cooperated with authorities and turned himself in to the police department in at the request of Newnan Police Department Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs. Holloway was later taken to the Coweta County Jail, where he stayed for several hours before posting a $1,050 bond.

“Educators’ interactions with their students can become very beneficial to everyone involved, as noted by many students and parents who have met and worked with Johnny Holloway over the years,” Cummins said in an emailed statement. “However, sometimes educators’ personal conduct or their interactions with students gets called into question.”

In his statement, Cummins shared his next steps for the case and Holloway’s feelings on the situation.

“We are now beginning to review the questions involving Johnny Holloway and his alleged substance abuse, but I can say definitively that Johnny Holloway had no intent to harm any student, and he deeply regrets any issues he many have caused for his students, their families, and the Coweta County School System,” Cummins said. “Mr. Holloway is human, and thus he is not perfect, but despite any misjudgment he may have shown, he cared very much about his students, as shown by his track record over the years.”

“I trust he will be judged fairly as this case is resolved in our courts, and that any mistakes he may have made will be considered alongside his positive contributions to many people’s lives.”

Cummins also said his client had never been arrested or charged with any drug violations before.

In a letter sent home to parents of Evans Middle School students on Aug. 20, Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker said the school system had recently heard concerns from parents and students about Holloway’s professional conduct, “including the potential use of illegal substances.”

“Following his resignation, Mr. Holloway was charged on Tuesday for possession of marijuana,” Barker said. “Because this matter is still under investigation; we cannot comment further at this time. We regret this has occurred.”

Dean Jackson, public information officer for the school system, said a parent had contacted the school system on Oct. 17.

In June 2013, Holloway was named a quarterfinalist for the inaugural national Grammy Music Educator Award. He was among the 217 music teachers chosen as a quarterfinalist from the more than 30,000 initial nominations.

Holloway did not make the semi-finalist round for the award. Evans Middle School and the school system are currently looking for a qualified replacement for Holloway’s former position.



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