Digging Deeper: CRCT Investigation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: CRCT Investigation

Investigators seized computer hard drives from a Dougherty County school as the probe into possible test tampering continues.

GBI agents are expected to finish their questioning of school personnel over the next three weeks.

Those special appointed investigators will take over the next rounds of questioning.

This is the first seizure of equipment, but school officials think it won't be the last.

The hard drives for the Principal and Assistant Principal at Jackson Heights Elementary School are now in the hands of state investigators looking into tampering on 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Tests.

"Allegedly they have received anecdotal information I suspect that there are emails between faculty members and administrators in the school about conduct that would not have been appropriate during the testing period," said DCSS Attorney Tommy Coleman.

School officials are cooperating with the investigation, even putting investigators in touch with technicians to help extract the information.

"Our interest is the same, the system needs to as well as these investigator need to know if anybody has misrepresented anything or cheated or engaged in other inappropriate conduct," said Coleman.

Investigators say teachers who tell the truth won't face criminal charges, they may not be exempt from ramifications with the Dougherty County School System which is bracing for the reality that there will be hearings or tribunals.

"If you're a certified employee, in the state of Georgia and work in a school system, Dougherty County, any school system you have a contract and not withstanding this event or not withstanding whatever happens if you have committed a crime, the law does not permit you to just go in and fire them," said Coleman.

Instead they would likely face the Board of Education or a tribunal to determine whether that person should be suspended, terminated, or otherwise disciplined. That won't happen until the investigation is complete which may not be before the end of November.

Dougherty County School Board Attorney Tommy Coleman says with 3,000 school system employees, the system constantly deals with misconduct from employees.

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