Threat called in hours after superintendent resigns amid racial discrimination lawsuit

BUFORD, Ga. — Buford City Schools Superintendent Dr. Geye Hamby has resigned, days after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the news he had been named in a racial discrimination lawsuit and accused of using offensive slurs.

Hamby resigned Friday morning in a short letter to the school board:

"My sincere apologies for any actions that may have created adversity for this community and the Buford School District," he wrote. "Thank you for your many years of support and leadership."

On Friday afternoon, the Buford Board of Education was put on lockdown and then closed early after someone called in a phone threat against the former superintendent.

The threats came in around 12:30 p.m. on Sawanee Avenue, police said.

Channel 2's Tom Regan was in Buford, where police stood by the doors of the building for hours screening anyone who wanted to come inside. It's unclear who made the threat.

Regan also spoke to students at Buford High School, who said they were stunned by Hamby's abrupt resignation.

"A lot of kids are kind of mad," Will Coffey said.

"Mad about his resigning?" Regan asked.

"No. Mad about what he said," Coffey said.

Most of the students Regan talked to agreed.

"That was the right thing for him to do. That shouldn't be tolerated by anybody," student Hayley Iverson said. "I heard the recording and I was very shocked and disturbed, disgusted by what I heard."

Several students wore black as a symbol of solidarity.

"So many people wore black to say that it's not a reflection of our entire school district," Trinity Price said.

Stephanie Green, a parent, said that the Buford community will move past this.

"We will heal from it, and we'll be stronger from it," Green said. "It think it's sad, but I think the city of Buford will overcome this."


Hamby had been placed on administrative leave earlier this week, after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the allegations.

He's the target of a discrimination lawsuit that includes an audio recording purportedly of Hamby making racial slurs and threats while speaking about African-American temp workers.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, includes recordings in which a person identified as Hamby used racial epithets repeatedly when referring to African-American workers at a construction site.  "(Expletive) that (n-word). I'll kill these (expletive) — shoot that (expletive) if they let me," the person identified as Hamby can be heard saying. The person speaking repeatedly refers to blacks as "deadbeat (n-word)."

The plaintiff's attorney Ed Buckley said Friday that he had information that Buford School Board President and City Commissioner Philip Beard was present when Hamby made the racist statements.  Buckley has now amended the complaint to add Beard's name.

Regan asked the school board attorney for a comment about the allegations against the school board president but didn't get a response.

Hamby led the school system for 12 years. His most recent contract paid him over $300,000 a year.

He has helmed the district of four schools - Buford Elementary, Middle and High Schools and Buford Academy since 2006.

He was earning $308,000 a year and had received glowing reviews, according to personnel files obtained through the Open Records Act.