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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  • by bobby black Location: dothan on May 15, 2008 at 02:22 PM
    what!!!! you mean to tell me they let that freak into the schools with our children and he is still riding round free. something has to be done! I mean come on man the next little boy could be yours or mines. what the hell is going on are you people blind? this guy is very very sick BAD BAD BAD TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by mad dog Location: dogg pound on Aug 15, 2007 at 04:21 PM
    yeah i knew he was up to somthing but i just couldnt figure him out i think they need to go deeper in the schools system because there might be more KEATON BATTLES out there BAD BAD BAD TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Sunshine Location: Donalsonville on Jul 20, 2007 at 06:03 AM
    If the all bases were covered in the hiring of Battle then Dothan City Schools you are off the hook- until March!! Why did you continue to allow Battle to continue to work for the system knowing that he had a criminal history?? He should have immediately been relieved of all his duties at the Academy. You are as much to blame as the Seminole Co School System- which leads to my next comment. I would love to know who gave such a high recommendation for this individual of he had reports of violence with the students. Or was all of that just brushed under the rug and never documented in his personnel file? I do not care if the teacher was reprimanded in writing or not, it should have been documented in his file for future reference. This is a joint blame issue here and the two school districts need to take whatever precautions necessary to ensure this never happens again!!!
  • by Sue on Jul 20, 2007 at 04:40 AM
    Why not due a Full Background check prior to employment. Why don't employers check references or place of last employment prior to hiring? It seems to me this whole problem could have been stopped before it ever started if some investigations had been done. In recent months many teachers have been exposed for their improper activities nation wide. Why isn't our system working? AEA? NEA? Poor Leadership? or Just Don't Really Care? Or maybe it is a Lack of Funds that keep the Full Background Checks from completed.
  • by TOP OF THE EVENING Location: FORT RUCKER on Jul 19, 2007 at 05:47 PM
    ONCE AGAIN, DOTHAN HAVE A MESS ON THERE HANDS.TO THE PRINCIPAL OF PASS ACADEMY.LOOKING BACK HE CALLED SEMINOLE COUNTY THEY GAVE HIM ENOUGH TO HIGHER KEATON . NOW LET US JUST TAKE MOMENT SAY TO OURSELVES WHY DIDN'T SEMINOLE REPORTED THIS CRIME SEMIONLE COUNTY POLICE DEPT NEED TO BE INVESTIAGED ,SOMETHING IS NOT ADDING UP ABOUT THIS STORY,NICHOLAS DIDN'T DO HIS JOB ONCE HE HEARD ABOUT KEATON. SO DOTHAN IS STILL HOLDS OR SHOULD I SAY SHARE SOME OF THE BLAME EITHER WAY YOU LOOK AT THIS SITUATION.
  • by CONCERNED Location: DOTHAN on Jul 19, 2007 at 05:29 PM
    WELL THEN,OKAY DOTHAN CITY SCHOOL COVERED THEIR BASES, PER DR.NICHOLS. BUT NEVERTHELESS HE SAID THEY GOT WIN OF THIS SITUATION BACK IN MARCH SO WHY WAS HE STILL WORKING IN THE DOTHAN CITY SCHOOL UNTIL MAY 30, TWO MONTH LATER SO THAT MEANS THEY ONLY DID PART OF THERE JOB ,THEY SHOULD HAVE FIRED KEATON BATTLE IN MARCH , SO WHAT WAS THERE PURPOSE OF LETTING HIM STILL WORK FOR TWO MORE MONTH SO THAT MEANS THE KIDS WHERE OUT OF SCHOOL FOR SPRING BREAK ABOUT THAT TIME.SEMIONOLE COUNTY STILL HOLD ALL THE BLAME AND SHAME . BUT DOTHAN IS STILL NOT EXCUSED, BECAUSE HE STILL REMAINED ON THE STAFF AS TEACHER FOR 2 MORE MONTH. AT PASS ACEDEMY. SO PARENTS WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS.THE PRINCIPAL AT P.A.S.S. DID HIS JOB. DR. NICHOL NEED SET BACK AND LOOK AT THIS SITUATION FOR WHAT IT IS.
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