City School Superintendent Reacts to Teacher’s Sex Crime

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

P.A.S.S. Academy Teacher Keaton Battle was charged with soliciting sex acts with students Monday.

However, City School Superintendent Doctor Sam Nichols says he had no idea Battle had been allegedly fighting deeper, darker issues.

Many people wondered how with a prior history, Keaton Battle fell through the cracks of the school system.

Battle had a history of violence with students in the Seminole County, Georgia School System. But somehow, that violence didn't show up on Battle's background check when he applied to be a teacher, right here, in our area.

“Absolutely, it was a shock. Mr. Battles was employed in September by Mr. Brooks, the principal at P.A.S.S. Academy and followed all the procedures in our employment Process," Dr. Nichols said Thursday.

Dr. Nichols is speaking of Darryl Brooks, the new principal to alternative school, P.A.S.S. Academy.

According to Nichols, prior to hiring Battle in September of last year, Brooks called the school where Battle used to work in Seminole County, Georgia and got an excellent rating from his previous employer.

From there, a deeper investigation was conducted.

"It goes through ABI and the FBI. They do a fingerprint check; they do a criminal history background check that was done. And subsequent to that, the state department issued a suitability clearance, saying he was suitable to work in the school system," continued Nichols.

However, little did the school system know, Battle had been charged in Seminole County for roughing up a student, which didn't come out until recently.

"In March, we gained knowledge that there had been some background issues and in May, he was non-renewed in our system," Nichols said.

However, what most people wonder is how; how could a man whose been charged with inappropriately handling a student be suitably hired in Dothan City's School System?

"That came to light in March. We did not have the details at that point and time,” said Nichols.

Dr. Nichols says Dothan City Schools didn't find out until last week about Battle’s alleged attempt to pay two male students to perform sex acts with him.

They say they'll continue the same hiring process for faculty and staff.

Dothan Police believe there may be more victims. If you have any information, you're urged to call (334) 615-3000.

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