Monday, May 20, 2024

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

Was ABSS child nutrition director fired for bringing a gun to work?


QUESTION: Was the Alamance-Burlington school system’s director of Child Nutrition fired last week for bringing a handgun to work?

ANSWER: Yes, Pamela Bailey, the director of School Nutrition for ABSS, was immediately terminated for bringing a handgun to work last Thursday. Burlington police officers and ABSS chief finance officer Jeremy Teetor escorted Bailey from the school system’s Central Office on Vaughn Road in Burlington, where the School Nutrition program is based.

Bailey, for her part, acknowledged that she had been terminated for what she characterized as an “honest mistake” in a message she posted on Facebook.

[Story continues below photograph.]

- Advertisement -
Pamela Bailey

“I was terminated today after 19 years with ABSS for a honest mistake,” Bailey posted on her Facebook page last Thursday, adding, “‘LESSON LEARNED.’”

Asked by school board vice chairman Patsy Simpson whether it was true, Bailey responded, “very real, honest stupidity on my behalf.”

State law classifies it as a Class I felony for anyone – including students and employees but excluding school resource officers and/or other emergency services personnel – to possess a firearm on any property owned, used, or operated by a public school system.

The statute also provides an exemption which allows someone with a concealed-carry permit to have a firearm on school property; it stipulates that the firearm must remain at all times in a locked vehicle or in a locked compartment within the vehicle.

[Story continues below.]

ATTN: HOME IMPROVEMENT BUSINESS OWNERS – The weather’s breaking and home improvement season’s beginning. Make the most of 2022 with an ad campaign in The Alamance News and online at
Range of price points to fit your budget: $75/mo.; $120/mo.; $150/mo. (includes one color ad); and $200/mo (includes online link to your website). For more information, click HERE
Call us at (336) 228-7851 or e-mail us at to begin putting your package together.

Though Bailey said in her Facebook message that she had been fired, documents that ABSS furnished to The Alamance News Wednesday afternoon stated that she was suspended without pay last Thursday and resigned as executive director of child nutrition on Friday.

Bailey originally began her tenure with ABSS in January 2003 as a substitute foodservice worker and was promoted in April 2003 to cashier (apparently in a cafeteria), for which she received a pay raise, from $10,049 to $10,320, based on documents that ABSS furnished in response to a public records request by The Alamance News.

Over the next 18 years, Bailey rose through the ranks within the Child Nutrition division, receiving numerous promotions and raises until her promotion to the executive director’s post in August 2016. Including her base annual salary, state-funded longevity pay, and a non-recurring state and local bonus, Bailey’s final salary totaled $87,845, based on the documents that ABSS furnished in response to the newspaper’s public records request.

No charges appear to have been filed against Bailey in connection with the incident.

Melissa McCann, a spokesperson for the Burlington police department, told the newspaper Wednesday that a report of the weapon on school property had been called in last Thursday but that the department’s written report had not been completed. She said the newspaper would be furnished with a copy of the report “once it’s ready.”

THE PUBLIC ASKS: Have a question about a matter of public record? Call The Alamance News at 228-7851; write to the newspaper at P.O. Box 431, Graham, NC 27253; or e-mail

If it’s a topic in the public domain — a matter of public record, including issues of government, courts, etc. — we’ll try to find the answer and print it in ‘The Public Asks’ column. (Please furnish as much complete and specific information as possible.)

Note: Issues regarding businesses — including salaries, policies, and practices — are usually not matters of public record, unless they are the subject of governmental or regulatory action, a court suit, or law enforcement activity.

Must Read

School board wants 27% hike in county spending

Alamance-Burlington school board members have approved a county budget request for the 2024-25 that school officials described Tuesday afternoon as “very, very difficult” and...