Sources: State opens investigation of Selma City School System

Published 11:11pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

During the past several months the Selma City School System has faced allegations of inappropriate, sexual behavior between teachers and students within the system and the Alabama State Board of Education has taken notice.

After a failed majority vote for an independent investigation of the Selma City School System by the Selma City School Board, which then led concerned parents to petition the board’s lack of action, the State Department of Education notified the Selma City School Board regarding an investigation of their own.

“The state department is doing an investigation,” Selma City School Board president Henry Hicks Jr. said. “From what I understand there was an outcry from parents and petitions through the state through Ella Bell (who represents district 5 on the Alabama State School Board of Education) and the State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice.”

Hicks said, with the petitions for an independent investigation circulating, the state department decided to get involved.

Wednesday, public information manager at the Alabama Department of Education, Malissa Valdes-Hubert, confirmed the department has sent the Selma City School Board a memo regarding an investigation, but due to legal reasons could not yet give further information on the letter or investigation.

Selma City Schools Superintendent Gerald Shirley did not respond to multiple requests for comment made by the Times-Journal.

Hicks however, said he is highly in favor of the state stepping in and encouraged the community that now is the time to come forward with information.

“This is coming directly from the State Superintendent, Dr. Tommy Bice,” he said. “What I would like to say is, if anybody in this community knows of anything going on in our system, now is the time for them to come forward.

“I’m not talking about coming forward just to scandalize somebody’s name, I’m talking about hardcore evidence that would show if anything’s going on in our system — now is the time to fix this.”

Hicks said he hopes the community will do their part in helping discover the truth to the allegations that have been raised against the city’s school system.

“We need to make sure if there’s anybody in our system that’s doing wrong, we need to get them out of our system, and if not, we just really need to move on with this,” he said. “My thing is, to the public and the students, the teachers and the parents, if they have hardcore evidence that anything is going on in our school system, now is the time for them to come forward. Please don’t be afraid to do so.”

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