State completes investigation into Selma City administrative leave employees

Published 8:00pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

The State Department of Education has apparently completed their investigation in to three top Selma City School administrators, but announcing that decision will come after those three officials have been notified.

During Thursday’s Selma City School Board meeting at Selma High School, Acting Selma City Schools Superintendent of Education and leader of the state’s intervention over the Selma City School System Larry DiChiara read a prepared statement about the actions that will take following the state’s decision to put Superintendent of Education Gerald Shirley, curriculum coordinator Wanda McCall and testing coordinator Mamie Solomon on indefinite, paid administrative leave.

DiChiara said all individuals in question would have the opportunity to “clear their name” after they have been notified of the state’s decision.

“We feel like we have conducted as fair as an investigation as we can,” DiChiara said before reading the statement. “We think that we have gotten all the reports in, whether it be with DHR or whether it be from the state assessment people. And we feel very satisfied that we are now ready to move forward in this process.”

Moments before DiChiara read the statement aloud, he mentioned  other personal are still under investigation.

“In the near future, I as the chief administrative officer, expect to take or propose actions in response to allegations of improper conduct by some employees of the Selma City School system,” DiChiara read. “Due process considerations prevent me from identifying at this time either the employees or the actions that I expect to take or both.

“‘Specifically, providing that information by employees before they have been informed about charges against them and before they have had the opportunity to clear their names in a hearing might deprive them of their liberty interest.’”

DiChiara said he understands  the public is eager to learn the fate of the Selma City School employees, but it’s important  the process is conducted thoroughly.

According to the state’s prepared statement, their actions will become public  after they have had the opportunity to clear their names.

The decision to put Shirley, McCall and Solomon on administrative leave came shortly after the State Department of Education took over the Selma City School System in February.

The take over — or intervention — followed a lengthy state investigation into the Selma system in response to allegations of sexual misconduct in the school system. Evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior, failure to enforce graduation requirement policies and a general disregard for instructional time were found during that investigation of Selma City Schools.

Last week, former Selma High School teacher Latangila Williams, who was arrested last April, pleaded guilty to a felony and misdemeanor charge in relation to sexual conduct with a student. Williams’ case is considered by many as the launching point for the eventual state investigation and state intervention.



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