Selma City School System setting a bad example

Published 6:46pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

How many companies do you know that have an employee who is facing felony charges on their payroll?

If you said none, you clearly didn’t think about Selma City Schools.

Former Selma High School teacher LaTangila Williams is charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor after allegedly having sexual interactions with a student.

But instead of firing Williams, the Selma City School Board put her on administrative leave. She continues to receive paychecks as if nothing happened.

Earlier this month, Selma City School Board Attorney Katy Campbell said the board followed all the proper laws and procedures in keeping Williams on paid leave.

Does adhering to the minimum standards set a good example for students?

It doesn’t.

If felony charges weren’t enough to warrant a firing, or at least being suspended without pay, then a scathing investigation by the Alabama Department of Education surely would be.

Williams misconduct was likely the reason the state investigation began in the first place. She was arrested in April and the audit was launched in June in response to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Williams isn’t the first teacher to be accused of misconduct. She isn’t even the latest to be accused of such misconduct in Alabama. Though, Chilton County made better choices in a similar situation.

Less than a month after Thorsby High teacher Jennifer McNeill was accused of statutory rape and sodomy of a juvenile, the Chilton County Board of Education voted unanimously to terminate McNeill’s employment and cease her salary and benefits immediately.

If a student committed a felony, we’re almost sure they would be expelled long before their case was adjudicated.

In this situation, Williams is receiving a paid vacation from the Selma City School System while awaiting her day in court.

Consider the message that is being sent to the students Selma City School System. Teachers and administrators should be held to the same standard they hold their students to.

 

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