Six Dougherty teachers suspended in cheating scandal | News
ALBANY, GA- The Dougherty school board voted unanimously to suspend six teachers for 40 contract days, without pay.
The tribunal gave this recommendation to the board after holding hearings. These teachers were named in the 2009 CRCT cheating scandal. The suspended teachers are Tiffany Randle, Tara Mallard, Fatima Jackson, Lavonda Jolivette, Jennifer Smith, and Alberta Wallace.
They all violated test protocol by prompting students either by telling them to check their work, using inflection in their voice, or using facial expressions.
"It's in the best interest of our school system. It provides some certainty. There's punishment, it's not excessive punishment, but it's punishment commensurate with the crime, or the infraction rather and it's not costing the school system an incredible amount of money," said Tommy Coleman, the school system's attorney.
"I would say the tribunal people really taking the time to look at the evidence, or the lack thereof, make then the recommendation and say look we really don't have anything of a preponderance of evidence suggesting that these people should not go back to work," said Dr. Joshua Murfree, the Dougherty County School Superintendent.
These teachers had already been out of the classroom for months, so essentially they will be going back to work with less pay.
Murfree says they still have to work out all the paperwork and look at where these educators are needed. These teachers will go back to the classroom soon, but the question now is where.
Anita Williams-Brown, the at large school board member says the majority of the people in Dougherty County are good teachers, "They do a great job, so I just hope this never happens and I hope the public would just give the situation a chance, give people a chance. Because a lot of people's lives were destroyed by it. I just really think that the system and the community, everybody, we jumped the gun. We kind of prosecuted the people before they had a fair hearing.
Ten teachers have been cleared because there wasn't enough evidence against them. Nearly 50 educators were named in the investigation. Many of the more serious violators either resigned or retired.
The board also voted four to two, to reinstate Jose Roquemore's contract. Roquemore is the former principal of Morningside Elementary School. The school system's attorney said they didn't have enough evidence against him.
Roquemore was scheduled to have a hearing Thursday, August 23rd, but that's been canceled.
The last two tribunal hearings are scheduled for next week.
The Dougherty school board voted unanimously to suspend 6 teachers for 40 contract days.
The tribunal gave this recommendation to the board after holding hearings. These teachers were named in the 2009 CRCT cheating scandal.
The suspended teachers are Tiffany Randle, Tara Mallard, Fatima Jackson, Lavonda Jolivette, Jennifer Smith, and Alberta Wallace.
The school board voted 4 to 2 to reinstate the contract for Jose Roquemore, a former principal for Morningside Elementary.
Roquemore was accused of changing grades and also named in the CRCT cheating scandal.
Tommy Coleman, the board's attorney, told board members today that they can't maintain a burden of proof against him.
A tribunal hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday for Roquemore.
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.