Digging Deeper: Finding answers in CRCT probe - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: Finding answers in CRCT probe

DCSS Attorney Tommy Coleman DCSS Attorney Tommy Coleman

Three of nine principals investigators tried to question in the Dougherty County Schools cheating scandal invoked their fifth amendment rights and refused to answer questions.

But that could cost them their jobs.

State investigators are doing more extensive interviews at two schools as they wait for the GBI to compile as many as 500 initial interviews.

The GSP State Patrol Command Center which was once a flurry with interviews and activity, is quiet. Investigators are back in Atlanta waiting on information from the GBI, presented more than a week ago in closed door meetings.

The Superintendent and school board attorney are looking at how the school system will move forward.

"We were trying to figure out when we should be prepared to begin the process, locally, of evaluating and disciplining teachers and administrators, should that be necessary," said DCSS Attorney Tommy Coleman.

It likely won't happen until after the first of the year. State Investigators tell us no indictments will be made until the final report is completed and given to the Governor for review. There are still more extensive interviews to do at Morningside and Radium Springs Elementary Schools.

School Board attorney Tommy Coleman says there will be three things teachers and administrators found to be involved in cheating could face, criminal charges in the form of an indictment. Then there's the Professional Standards Commission if they're charged with a crime.

"The crime, whatever it may be, in this case cheating, it would be report to the PSC and they'll investigate and take appropriate action, based upon the person's license."

Digging deeper we learned charged or not, they could also face an administrative hearing before the school board.

Coleman said, "An administrative hearing is going to take away a kind of benefit you have, in this case it's a job, or our employment, your livelihood, but the standard is a lot lower, and all we really need under the any evidence rule is there any evidence that these events occurred."

 Teachers or Administrators deemed to have some involvement will eventually be notified, a hearing, will be held and the board will make a decision that's then carried out. A lot will depend on the final report which is due out around Thanksgiving. 

Teachers and Administrators who are called in for a hearing have the right to appeal the decision to the State School Board and also through the court system. School officials expect some would just resign to avoid the process altogether.


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