Employees: DCSS doesn't welcome complaints - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Employees: DCSS doesn't welcome complaints

Some Dougherty County school teachers say they're met with hostility when they report problems.

Even some school board members confirm they've gotten complaints from teachers who say they were threatened when they came forward with information.

This comes to light one day after the school superintendent encouraged teachers to come to him with info on CRCT cheating rather than report it to state investigators.

Teachers tell us they're forced to put their name on a complaint form if they want to report any wrongdoing, and in many cases they don't because there's retribution and trouble when the call attention to something negative.

Some school board members don't agree with the Superintendents position that anonymous tips shouldn't be accepted in the CRCT investigation.

"Police take anonymous tips on crime, so why should we not take anonymous tips on you know inappropriate activity in the school system," said Carol Tharin, Dougherty County School System Board Member.

That anonymity is the only way some teachers and administrators feel comfortable coming forward.

"There has been incidents in the past where there has been retribution or a punishment or a shunning of that employee which causes other employees not to be willing to come forward," said David Maschke Dougherty County School System Board Member.

Board member Carol Tharin relayed one scenario within the last six months.

"It was reported to me that a principal threatened a teacher in their school and said you know, if you make any waves or try and report this, I'll have you fired, I'm related to the HR director," said Tharin.

Teachers who called us but would not speak on camera say they haven't spoken out, because they know they'll be shunned or face retribution if they do. While board member say they're cautious about anonymous tips they can still be credible and will be investigated.

"These anonymous tips are valuable resources, but you have to understand you have to be cautious with them initially and verify whether there's any validity to it because sometimes people are not providing the information for a good reason," said Maschke.

We tried to question Dr. Murfree about this today, but were told that was yesterday and he's moving forward today and wouldn't go back to comment. Public Information Director R.D. Harter told us the reason they want an individuals name is to investigate the claim and get back to them. He doesn't feels there's any retribution to reporting inappropriate behavior.

"I don't think that's the case in our school system," said R.D.Harter, Dougherty County School System Public Information Director.

Board member Carol Tharin told us it stops at the Superintendents office, the administration should investigate every complaint and if it's valid they should deal with it.

Carol Tharin told us she's made complaints she believed to be valid to the Superintendent and they were never dealt with.

Board member David Maschke says some administrators are defensive and not open to information that may cast them in a negative light.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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