Teachers named in the Dougherty County CRCT cheating scandal Tuesday had their tribunal hearings.
Four teachers named in the scandal today were recommended a suspension without pay, but no firings.
Four teachers who were accused of having minor violations in the CRCT cheating scandal went before the panel Tuesday.
The members agreed with recommendation, which means they could head back to the classroom very soon, but not without any repercussions.
The tribunal panel, made up of three experienced educators from other counties heard each hearing.
Dougherty County School Attorney, Flin Coleman and the attorneys for each of the teachers presented the same joint recommendation for all four, a 60 day suspension without pay.
"We really didn't negotiate a whole lot. We said to the lawyers, if your client would like to take 60 days suspended without pay, instead of being fired. Some of them said yes, some of them said no," said Flin Coleman.
"We could of gone forward, had a hearing and we could of won the hearing or we could of lost the hearing. But here we have certainty and we don't have to guess what the outcome will be," said Maurice King.
All four teachers admitted to prompting their students while they were taking the CRCT, whether it was asking a student to re-check their work, using voice inflection or pointing at a question.
These are considered minor violations when compared to others.
"The CRCT investigation in 2009 revealed that there were exceptional numbers of wrong to right erasures, which suggested that there was, something had happened to the tests. At least with regard to the four that we had here today, what they did, what they admitted to doing probably couldn't have accounted for that many erasures. So something else had happened," said Coleman.
The four teachers: Jennifer Smith, Alberta Wallace, Lavonda Jolivette and Fatima Jackson were quiet during Tuesday hearings. Listening to what the panel had say before they made their decision.
"She wants to get back in the classroom and doesn't want to go through the uncertainty of a full hearing with regards to this. Thought this was a fair recommendation," said Herbert Benson.
The panel ultimately decided to agree with the recommendation, but to give them a 40 day suspension without pay based on their 184 day contract.
These teachers were taken out of the classroom earlier in the school year with pay. So if this agreement passes it means they would get a contract and go back to the classroom, but they would lose pay.
The school board is the ultimate decision maker. They're expected to vote on this at the next board meeting. About nine other teachers are awaiting tribunal hearings.
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