The crowd that came out to listen to the case against embattled Farrell High Principal Lee McFerren�s removal hearing Tuesday wasn�t as big as the one that came out the night before for the opening of the hearing.

But the die-hards who stuck it out got their money�s worth.

They heard almost eight hours of testimony from McFerren�s bosses that detailed how he went wrong.

They also saw a rarity.

McFerren chose to have a public accounting of the allegations and he�s getting one. He�s also giving those who attend a �real-life civics lesson,� his lawyer, Barbara Ochs of Sharon, said.

McFerren listened to most of the testimony intently, sometimes exchanging notes on a legal pad with his wife Lisa, who sat behind him.

For a man whose job is on the line, McFerren has kept a sunny demeanor, exchanging handshakes and small talk during breaks with some of his supporters and he�s been friendly to the press.

�Mr. McFerren is very grateful for the overwhelming support from parents, students and residents of the district,� Ms. Ochs said.

Those who attended also got to see lawyers behaving like, well, lawyers, debating the rules of evidence and objecting to the point that Farrell solicitor James Nevant II had to gavel them to order several times.

There were also some odd moments, including a description of a senior breakfast held last year when acting Superintendent Carole Borkowski said McFerren acted inappropriately.

The somewhat formal event was broken up by McFerren cutting up with the students, she said.

He was walking around, saying �Hello, guvna� with his best British accent, she said.

�It was establishing a tone that was silly,� she said.

He also gave a speech about hunting groundhogs in his underwear that she said was inappropriate.

He told the students that hunting groundhogs at his rural Crawford County home is difficult because they keep changing directions and that he sometimes sat on the porch in his underwear with a gun trying to get a shot at them.

�The staff was in total shock,� Mrs. Borkowski said. �Some (students) made a joke, saluting �Captain Underpants.� �

The same day, at graduation practice, some students reported to parents that McFerren was �drunk or high dancing with the students,� Mrs. Borkowski said.

She didn�t substantiate the comment, but made note of it, she said.

McFerren will have his chance to respond when the district finishes presenting its case and he testifies in his defense, Ms. Ochs said.

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