ALBANY, Ga. — An administrative panel on Tuesday issued a 30-day suspension without pay for Turner Elementary teacher Tracy Drayton after she slapped a kindergarten student at the school.
The four-member panel consisted of Dougherty County School Board members Carol Tharin, Milton “June Bug” Griffin, Velvet Riggins and Chairman James Bush.
Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree had recommended termination, but the panel unanimously decided on the suspension.
Drayton’s attorney, Howard Stiller, admitted his client had slapped the child, but said it was “a momentary lapse in judgment.”
In addition to the suspension, the panel ordered Drayton to undergo anger management classes and she will be transferred to another school.
In a separate incident, Dougherty County School Assistant Police Chief J.C. Phillips confirmed that an incident between a teacher and a student had taken place at Live Oak Elementary School.
Phillips said no police report was filed and that the incident was handled administratively.
Meanwhile, Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards confirmed that his office was investigating a 2011 “failure to report abuse” case at Dougherty High School.
The probe is believed to center on a school official who allegedly failed to report to authorities the possible abuse of a student by someone outside of the school.
“We are looking into it,” Edwards said. “The case is currently under investigation.”
Georgia law (19-7-5) requires mandatory reporting by physicians, hospital personnel, dentists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors, school teachers/officials, child welfare agency and child service organization personnel, law enforcement personnel, podiatrists when they have reasonable cause to believe a child has been abused.
“It is the policy of this office to pursue failure to report possible abuse,” Edwards said. “As I said earlier, we are still investigating the allegations.”
Under state law, failure to report is a misdemeanor.