Suspended teachers subject of meeting

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 29, 2002

Two Brookhaven teachers remain suspended as school district andlaw enforcement officials planned to meet Friday morning to discussthe case that involves allegations of sexual misconduct by theinstructors.

District Attorney Danny Smith, Brookhaven Police Chief Arlustra”Pap” Henderson, Brookhaven School District Superintendent Dr. SamBounds, school board attorney Bob Allen were expected to attend themeeting. Although rumors have been rampant throughout thecommunity, neither school nor law enforcement officials haveidentified the teachers involved.

Smith downplayed the significance of Friday’s meeting. Hecharacterized it as another step in the investigation, but he didnot elaborate.

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“We’re not going to comment on any details of an ongoinginvestigation,” Smith said.

A police department investigation began in late February afterthe District Attorney’s Office received a complaint about thealleged conduct that involved students and a teacher. Authoritiessaid a second teacher’s name came up during the course of theinvestigation while questioning students.

The two teachers were suspended with pay March 19 after schoolofficials met with authorities. At the time, Bounds said hebelieved the with-pay suspensions were proper and it would not beappropriate to allow the instructors to continue their day-to-dayactivities at school.

“We’re not saying we’re accusing anyone of anything or thatanybody is guilty of anything,” Bounds said.

Bounds was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Henderson said the suspensions were a school matter. The chiefcomplimented his investigators on their handling of the case andsaid any criminal action decisions would be made by Smith’soffice.

“We feel like we did a very good job on it,” Henderson said. “Asfar as any criminal action, we’re going to let the DA’s office makethat decision.”