Teacher charged with child molestation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Teacher charged with child molestation

May 17, 2005

Sylvester- Angela Avery had a daughter in Georgiann Harrell's third grade class at Holley Elementary School.

But the teacher who is known to be popular with students is behind bars.

"That's just what really shocks us, is that it's all come out right here at the end and it's been going on all year long," Avery said.

Harrell surrendered to authorities at the Worth County Jail. The aggravated child molestation charges don't have anything to do with the glass cutting incident.

"I want her to face all charges that can be brought against her."

Sylvester Police Chief Tony Strenth says more charges are pending and the investigation is not over. Harrell is in jail with no bond. A bond hearing is expected later this week or next week.

The Professional Standards Commission, the government body that grants teachers' certification, is aware of the situation, but doesn't expect to receive an official complaint against the teacher until the school system's investigation is complete, according to Gary Walker, director of the Ethics Division that handles the investigations.

Police and parents have had a difficult time getting information about the situation from officials at the Worth County Board of Education.

"I think that how they've handled this has been wrong," Avery said. "They do not want anybody to know what's going on."

At least she knows a teacher who may be dangerous to children is out of the classroom.

"Now more students next year won't have to go through this, what our children and maybe the children before had to go through."

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