First Teacher in Atlanta Schools Cheating Scandal Prevails at Tribunal
Angela Williamson, teacher at Dobbs Elementary who was reinstated after her APS tribunal.
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Now Angela Williamson, formerly of Dobbs Elementary School, awaits a decision from the Atlanta school board on the status of her employment. The board can follow the superintendent's recommendation to terminate her or vote to reinstate her.
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis has said previously any educator exonerated during a tribunal would be reinstated.
According to a state investigation, in 2008 and 2009 Williamson was accused of prompting students during the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests to change their answers from wrong to right by coughing, frowning and telling them to "go back over your answers."
"I knew all along that I was innocent," a tearful Williamson, 45, said Saturday. "This was a draining process. Now I can get my life back."
Her lawyer, Gerald Griggs, said they will consider suing the school district now to clear her name.
"This sent a message that APS needs to look at its own policies before blaming the teachers," Griggs said.
APS spokesman Keith Bromery wouldn't comment on the potential lawsuit.
"We take these a case at a time," Bromery said. "We would not bring a case of termination unless we felt there was due cause."
Around 180 Atlanta educators were accused by state investigators of cheating on the CRCT in 2009. So far, nine educators have had their terminations upheld at disciplinary hearings. The school board has affirmed all those decisions.
Several educators, who were placed on paid administrative leave last year, have either resigned or retired.
Source: AJC.com | Daarel Burnette
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