Viewpoint: Teachers suspended on the job

We've been critical of the Dougherty County School Board and Superintendent Joshua Murfree the last couple of years for poor decisions and poor leadership.  But we want to be the first to praise the administration when they do things right.

School system leaders are handling the fallout from the state investigation into CRCT cheating well.  13 teachers and three principals admitted to some form of cheating.  The board did the right thing by quickly removing them from their schools.

Those employees can't be fired before individual hearings, which could be months away.  And the system must continue to pay them.  Instead of suspending them, and essentially giving the accused cheaters a free vacation, the superintendent and board members are forcing them to show up to work every day.

They're essentially in detention at the system's administrative and storage complex.  We can only hope they're forced to write "I will not cheat on the CRCT" on a chalkboard.

The system could have hired substitute teachers to take the place of those educators, but they made a better decision.  They'll fill the vacancies with Early Intervention Program teachers who are already in the schools working one-on-one with struggling students.  They're better qualified than substitutes and won't cost any extra tax money.

The Dougherty County School System will feel the effects of the cheating scandal for a long time to come.  But so far, leaders are making smart decisions to minimize the cost of the scandal and the disruption to students.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.