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HCBOE suspends teachers involved in Ashford text scandal

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 11:49 PM CST
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The Houston County Board of Education has made a decision about the Ashford High School teachers involved in a texting scandal.

Three of the teachers will be put on unpaid suspension for 10 days.

This all came out almost a month ago, but when it came down to it, the meeting to decide their date took all of about five minutes.

The next hour was filled by members of the community voicing their opinions on the decision.

5-1, the Houston County Board of Education determined the fate of the five Ashford teachers involved in a text scandal.

Those teachers used the "n" word, and speculated about their students' sex life in a series of group text messages.

Superintendent David Sewell made the recommendation that three of the teachers be suspended without pay for 10 school days.

"I consulted with our attorney and several other attorneys at the state level with education, and I took their recommendations into account,” said Sewell.

The other two involved include a substitute teacher and a teacher in another district.

After the decision, the board opened the floor to public comment.

The punishment starts with the two week suspension, but it doesn't end there.

"We're going to have some diversification training,” said Sewell. “We have a contract with a company, American Behavior and AEA."

I also asked the superintendent if the board would be taking any action against the student that posted the video of the conversation on social media without permission.

"It's not our information,” said Sewell. “It's their information. It would be up to them to do that. It's not up to the school board."

Anastasia Williams was one of the students named in the chat.

Her mother was at the meeting anxiously awaiting the board's decision.

"We thought that they going to get fired, but they didn't get that, so it's like a slap on the wrist to me," said Erica Williams, Anastasia’s mom.

Board Member David Hollinger voted against the recommendation.

Chris Lasseter abstained because his wife is a teacher at Ashford.

The teachers have been on administrative leave since shortly after the incident.

Superintendent David Sewell said the suspensions will start immediately.

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