Charged teacher still on payroll

Published 8:08 pm Saturday, July 6, 2013

Selma City Schools are set to begin classes Aug. 19 and the question of whether Selma High School teacher LaTanglia Williams, 36, who was arrested April 19 for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with more than one student, will be returning as a teacher for the upcoming school year remains.

While school officials may be uncertain of whether or not Williams will continue as a Selma High employee, Selma City School Superintendent Gerald Shirley confirmed she is and has been on paid administrative leave since she was arrested in April.

When asked why Williams, who was charged with possession of obscene matter, electronic solicitation of a child, being a school employee who had sexual content with a student and enticing a child under the age of 16 for immoral purposes, was still being paid by the school system, Shirley said it was because the school board has not terminated her.

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“For the pay to stop, she would have to be terminated,” Shirley said. “But right now she’s on paid administrative leave.”

After waiving an appearance at her arraignment and filing a not guilty plea, Williams has a court date set for Tuesday, July 29 regarding allegations of sexual relations with multiple students at Selma High.

Following her arrest, Williams was placed in the Dallas County Jail under a $1,006,000 bond — which was later reduced to a consolidated $100,000.

District Judge Bob Armstrong heard Williams’ case April 23 in a bond hearing and in addition to lowering her bond, he ordered that Williams will not be allowed to have contact with children, organize or coordinate youth events for her church or sorority as she has in the past, contact the alleged victims and their families, and she is to live with her parents until the time of her trial. Williams is also barred from going to any school campus.

With a month and a half before school is back in session, Shirley said he could not say when a decision regarding Williams’ status as a school employee would be made, citing the fact the state is still conducting an investigation of the school system.

“We have not received anything from the state investigation,” he said, before adding the school system is offering their “full cooperation of the investigation.”

State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice notified Selma school officials June 13 that his department is looking into allegations of sexual activity involving Selma City School employees and students, and has sent two investigators from the state to Selma.

Supervising the investigation on behalf of Bice, Dr. Craig Pouncey, chief of staff of the Alabama State Department of Education, confirmed that the investigation is already underway and said the investigators are in no way affiliated with the Selma City School System.

Pouncey noted if the investigators find anything of criminal nature it will be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and if they determine any negligence on the part of an employee, it will be forwarded to the department for action against someone’s teaching certificate.