Williams’ guilty plea closes one sad chapter for the local school system

Published 5:58pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

It’s amazing how many lives have been forever changed since Friday, April 19, 2013.

Before the end of that particular school day, investigators and officers with the Selma Police Department converged on Selma High School and arrested teacher Latangelia Williams.

It was the first in a series of dominoes that continued their fall this past Friday.

In a Dallas County courtroom, Williams, nearly a year after being arrested, plead guilty to a number of sexual misconduct charges involving students.

It was her arrest — and the Selma City School Board’s inability to police itself — that many believe led to the Alabama Department of Education’s investigation in to the Selma City School System.

That investigation not only uncovered failures on the part of administrators and staff to handle Williams’ criminal issues, but also found evidence of educational misconduct, the tampering of test results and much more.

The school system’s leadership was even unable to properly and timely respond to the state’s findings, leading to the state ultimately taking over the Selma City School System in February.

And, the dominoes are not done falling.

Many expect additional terminations and suspensions in the coming days and weeks now that Williams’ case has been dealt with.

We have written many times the Selma City School System was ultimately flawed and was in need of an intervention. That has now come.

Today, we can see much-needed changes being made in the system and now, the person, whose arrest sparked all of this controversy, has received her punishment. The penalties due to others are coming.

All of this is to say that for the first time in quite a while, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Selma City School System. It might be a few years away, but there is change, there is improvement and we hope what is left, is a better educational system for our children.


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