David Crockett football coach calls for change in Washington County, Tennessee school system

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. - On the football field, Gerald Sensabaugh is doing exactly what David Crockett High School hired him to do: win football games.

"We're three points away from being 6-0," Sensabaugh says.

The Kingsport native and former NFL player has created quite the buzz on social media this week. He's written three long Facebook posts about what he calls the real problem with the Washington County, Tennessee school system.

"The real problem is where is the funding," Sensabaugh says. "Where's the funding go to?"

Sensabaugh has four children and says he'd love to send his kids to David Crockett one day. However, he feels the money isn't being equally distributed.

"I asked for this and that and they just say we don't have the funds," Sensabaugh explains. "But I drive by the Ridges every day and somebody's got some funds."

Right now, everyone in Washington County pays county taxes. Tax dollars from Johnson City residents are split between county and city schools. To even out the playing field, Sensabaugh suggest moving to an Independent School District System, or IDS, that would funnel tax dollars towards the district where you live.

"It's quite a bit but what you find out is that everybody has nice facilities no matter what the income level," he says.

The comments however, are being met with some resistance. County Mayor Dan Eldridge says Sensabaugh's statement on the funding disparity is "uninformed and inaccurate."

Another issue Sensabaugh raised was the use of inmate labor at David Crockett High School. He says he's worried about the safety of the students, but law enforcement stresses that's not an issue.

"It's a very safe program," Washington County, Tennessee Sheriff Ed Graybeal says. "Since 1982 we have never had an inmate commit a crime."

Sheriff Graybeal says the inmate labor saves taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Coach Sensabaugh says he loves coaching at David Crockett and will continue to post his opinions on social media because he wants to "better our tomorrow."

We reached out to the Washington County, Tennessee School Board. They declined our request for a comment.

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