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Middle school principal charged with sexual battery

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

ALBANY, Ga. -- The principal of Southside Middle School has been charged with two counts of sexual battery.

Joey DeWayne James has been released on a $2,200 bond after turning himself in Saturday morning.

"He was being investigated Friday afternoon by the (Dougherty County School System) police department after a complaint of sexual harassment (submitted) by a staff member," said R.D. Harter, public information officer for the school system. "It's an unfortunate situation."

In the short-term, officials could not say yet what impact this could have on James' employment status, but for the time being, he is staying at home.

"He is not in school for the next 10 days until an administrative decision can be made and we know more about the investigation," Harter said. "It may be longer. Ten days is the standard number of days."

In the long-term, James will have to go before the Professional Standards Commission.

James was promoted to principal at Southside Middle School in 2009, relieving Johnny Scott to serve as the principal of Monroe Comprehensive High School.

According to James' resume, he was first hired by the Dougherty County School System in 1993 as a sixth grade science and reading teacher at McIntosh Middle School.

In 1994, he moved to Turner Elementary where he was a fourth grade teacher and served as the Invent America Coordinator.

In 1996, he became the chair of the math department at Radium Springs Middle School where he taught sixth and seventh grade science, reading and math.

In 2003, he moved to Merry Acres Middle School where he was a seventh grade math teacher. In 2005, he was promoted to assistant principal at Merry Acres.

James has a doctorate in education leadership from Argosy University in Atlanta, which is also where he obtained his specialist degree.

In 2004, James graduated from Albany State University with a masters degree in educational administration. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and First Bethesda Baptist Church.

In his time with the school system, James has had no other complaints filed against him.