Dougherty Co. teacher fired for stealing dance line money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. teacher fired for stealing dance line money

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A fired Dougherty County School teacher is charged with stealing money dance line members gave her for their uniforms.

Lakisha Williams who was a teacher at Monroe High was arrested on one count of felony theft by conversion.

Upset parents say they were told they had to pay extra to make up for the stolen money, but school officials say that's not true.

Ned Bradford, the father of a 15-year old student at Monroe High, says last night at a meeting parents were told they would need to come up with the money again.

If they didn't the dancers would not be able to dance in homecoming in a few weeks. He says he and other parents feel they should not be held responsible for something that's not their mistake and school officials say they wont be.

Like most parents, Ned Bradford says he would do anything to make his 15-year old daughter happy. "She spent her whole summer five days a week, going to dance," said Bradford.

So he canceled summer vacation plans, and handed over hundreds of dollars, so his daughter could be part of the Monroe High School Dance Line. "We gave her more than 300 dollars for a new uniform," said Bradford.

But Bradford says the money he gave his daughter for a uniform went missing. "We are not getting any answers of where our money is or nothing," said Bradford.

That's because Bradford's dance line instructor Lakisha Williams was arrested and charged with taking those funds and converting them for her own use. "The only thing we know if what our daughter has been coming home and telling us what they have been hearing but as far as the school they are not giving us any direct information," said Bradford.

School spokesman R.D Harter says Williams was asked several times for financial records but failed to produce any. That's when the police launched a investigation. "She delivered to the school a cashiers check in excess of 6,000 that I think was supposed to be retribution of funds she converted," said Harter.

Bradford says at a meeting last night parents were told they would be responsible for coming up with the money again. "Now they are telling us that we have to pay fees all over again and I don't think that's fair," said Bradford.

But school officials say that wont happen, "The principal of the school has assured me the parents are not responsible for money that may be missing," said Harter.

If they have the receipt, they get the money back. "The schools intent is that any parent that has a receipt to refund what they have paid," said Harter.

And students will not be penalized in anyway for the missing funds.

Harter says officers are holding a book in evidence that lists all of the money received and police officers are in the process of making copies of that book, so even if parents do not have receipts they will get their money back.

School officials say she began working for the Dougherty County school system July of 2009, she was terminated at the end of the past school year.

Williams spent one night and jail and posted 2,500 bond on August 17th.

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