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School volunteer's arrest results in principal's suspension

John Davis

John Davis

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County School System Superintendent Butch Mosely late Monday suspended South Georgia Regional Achievement Center Principal John I. Davis without pay for an undetermined length of time for violations of the system's policy of requiring criminal background checks for school volunteers.

School volunteer Grady Alexander O’Neal, 33, was arrested last week and charged with molesting a 14-year-old female SGRAC student. O'Neal was known to visit the school on a regular basis, raising questions as to how O'Neal, who system officials say has two previous statutory rape convictions, was allowed access to the building and its students.

Following a complaint from the female student, an investigation by Dougherty County School System Police investigator J.C. Phillips revealed O'Neal had a large file of former criminal activity, including statutory rape and felony stalking convictions.

O'Neal was charged with three counts of child molestation and more charges are pending. He is currently being held without bond in the Dougherty County Jail.

DCSS policy requires that all school volunteers undergo a criminal background check before being allowed to work at the district's schools.

The background checks are requested by the building administrators (principals) and are processed by the DCSSPD. In O'Neal's case, a background check was not performed until after the investigation was under way.

None of the alleged incidents occurred on school property.

Davis, who has been the principal at SGRAC for the past seven years, met with Mosely Monday and accepted the suspension.

"There are some unusual circumstances in this case in that the girl's parents gave permission for (O'Neal) to take the child home from school," Mosely said. "He actually because a 'mentor' to the child. Still, as far as I'm concerned, not asking for a background check is a direct violation of board policy."

Mosely said he was unsure as to the length of Davis' suspension, saying he wanted "to sleep on it." His options appear to be five-10 days or the remainder of the school year, which ends May 6.

The superintendent said he hopes the suspension will send a message to the system's other principals.

"Our volunteer programs need to be scrutinized more closely, and if our principals aren't on the ball, they need to get on the ball — quickly," Mosely said.

A call to Davis' cell phone requesting comment went to voicemail and had not been returned by press time.

Comments

MRKIA 1 year ago

THIS IS HOW THE SYSTEM IS SUPPOSED WORK. SOME NEEDS TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

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Thurman 1 year ago

Thank You Mr. Mosely for doing your job. You have not stated that this Principal is guilty of any statutory crime, just a violation of school system policy. That in itself is enough for your actions. It is time that blame be placed upon those who have violated a school system policy. Yes, I noted that this is for an "undetermined time" and that's the way it should be handled. Give each side to present their evidence in this matter the make a permanent ruling.

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chinaberry25 1 year ago

He should be fired. He is in deep dodo.

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dickyboy 1 year ago

Finally have a no nonsense superintendent... way to go

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year ago

Well Terry, I hope you are satisfied....

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Sister_Ruby 1 year ago

bsrn.........you are a TRUE FOOL

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Terry.Lewis 1 year ago

You still don't get it, do you?

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KaosinAlbany 12 months ago

must be a friend of this dude

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erudite 1 year ago

This, this is terrorism.

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

I agree! Having child molesters on our campuses does terrify the students and parents!

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ittybittyme 1 year ago

Good riddance!! I guess ruthless, means getting rid of folks not doing their jobs properly..BSR....I applaud Mr. Mosley! BSR, if that was your child that was molested you would raise the roof, call all the media and play the race card....hush up, BSR!

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carter1971 1 year ago

I think Superintendent Butch Mosely is cleaning up this corrupt school system and I do feel someone should be held responsible for allowing a rapist on school premises but my question is will parents have to have background checks to volunteer? I also want to know what Mr. Oneal church congregation has to say about their pastor lying deceitful ways. #blindleadingtheblind

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straightface 12 months ago

church congregation? He has a church? where?

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year ago

Never...I speak up for whats right and wrong......Sure, Dr.Davis made a mistake, but publicly trying to destroy him by way of this biased newspaper is unjust. The man has over 40 years of experience with a good record and even in the Albany Sports Hall of Fame. He has been one of the good guys in the DCSS that has gone under the radar for a long time. Give him his proper respect in your biased article. Yes, he is guilty of trusting people a little too much and it caught up with him. He didnt cry, lie, or point the finger at anyone else. He is a real man who accepts responsibility and I am sure will make the correct changes if he doesn't retire. Terry has gone after people like this in the DCSS repeatedly with sometimes exaggerated,sensationalized, and stretched information. Thats the part that needs to stop. Tell the truth......When this story first came out...Terry said the child was molested at the school....we find out later....that was a lie!! But, it was good enough to sell papers and get you talking.....is that fair???? is that good honest reporting??? NO!!!!

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PatrickY2K 1 year ago

One of the good guys?!?! You are WAY off!! Dr. Davis is a crook - most of what he's done will never be known publicly, so at least he's being held accountable for something.

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MRKIA 12 months ago

WHAT MAKES DAVIS A CROOK?

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FryarTuk 1 year ago

bubbaneck, maybe you are the guy that's been too trusting of people. You do a lot of cheer leading for folks and there's nothing wrong with that. I wonder though if you might personalize some issues of accountability because you so much wanted the system to succeed. I give you credit for having a good heart from everything I have read from you but I wonder if you shouldn't attempt to be a bit more objective. By the way, I regret a boorish person's labeling you as racist on another thread. It was immature and inappropriate. You are entitled to your opinion and trying to intimidate and bully folks in interpersonal exchanges with name calling is a character flaw. I'll argue fiercely but I will defend your right to respond otherwise I am a hypocrite for espousing freedom.

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Somebody 12 months ago

"You do a lot of cheer leading for folks and there's nothing wrong with that."

Yep, cheerleading as long as that person is black. Have you ever seen Bubba cheer for someone who is white?

"I regret a boorish person's labeling you as racist on another thread. It was immature and inappropriate."

If the shoe fits, wear it.

Bubba has always been pro black no matter what dirty deed that person did, whether cheating on test scores, stealing money from the school funds, no matter what crime was committed, bubba felt it was wrong to go after that person. If this school principal had been white, you would not have heard anything from bubba except maybe "Good job"

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VietVet1 12 months ago

So BSM you wouldn't have a problem if it was your child? See where this is going?

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

BSR... In reading the three articles regarding this story, I have trouble finding any exaggeration, sensationalism, or stretching. Perhaps you have first hand knowledge to share that would evidence such accusations. I certainly don't see any attack on Dr. Davis. In the first article Terry indicates that investigator Phillips identified the South Georgia Regional Achievement Center as the location of the molestation. ( "According to Phillips, O’Neal is charged with molesting a 14-year-old student at the South Georgia Regional Achievement Center..." ) Is this lie you speak of Terry's, or Phillips'? Or, an error, somewhere along the line, without malice?

The issue with respect to Dr. Davis is simply did he, as principle, practice due diligence in seeing that policy was followed. If an investigation shows that this failure of the system was an isolated event in spite of best efforts, then the calls for his head should be ignored. If the investigation shows other instances of late background checks, or none at all, more drastic actions would be in order.

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Go back and read the first attack article.....it says the incident happened at school. It clearly did not.......that is called a lie......

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

I read the first article. It appears to present what information was provided at the time and gives investigator Phillips as the source of that information. By what definition is that a lie? To help a little, the accepted, and reasonable, definition amounts to a statement known to be false made with the intent to deceive. I sort of like that definition because I have made many statements in good faith that were wr..wr..wrong. Of course, the error regarding location has nothing to do with the question of why O'Neal had been cleared to be on campus without a completed background check. Do you agree?

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Well, thank you FryarTuk, we dont always agree, but I appreciate your comments and I respect your right to defend what you think is right as well. You have always been objective and you deserve recognition for that. I just hate seeing this system always under attack with sometimes false allegations, a later used like pawns to sell papers and get people fired or suspended. This paper was not like that in the 1980's. Its just sad.......

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waltspecht 12 months ago

I know the theory behind the Leader taking all the blame, but there had to be several others involved, and they all need to pay the price. Not just the Principal. For if they are not all held accountable, you slip right back into the mold of let them alone, they will do better next time. Or next time could be a lot more serious. Protecting the Students is primary, because the school has assumed responsibility. Find and deal with all those responsible. Not just one man falling on his sword.

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bigbob 12 months ago

This makes me laugh, if this was a white principal you would not hear from bubba, sad all that people see in this city is color.

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jglass 12 months ago

Color is not the issue. This person should have NEVER even been allowed near, let alone in the system. Policies and procedures are put into place for a reason. This principal evidently did not follow procedure and got caught. Thank you, Mr. Mosely for doing your job.

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MRKIA 12 months ago

HOW MANY WAKE UP CALLS DOES THE ADMINISTRATION IN EACH OF THE COUNTY SCHOOLS NEED? THE DAYS OF IGNORING, VIOLATING, MODIFYING OR CLAIMING IGNORANCE OF WRITTEN POLICIES IS OVER.

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ittybittyme 12 months ago

Exactly big bob, BSR plays the race card when it is convenient and has opened that door numerous times and it is TOTALLY appropriate for me to write about it....if you open that door Fryar I would call you on it just as I have BSR!

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Parent 12 months ago

This article clearly states that the parents gave permission for this man to pick up their daughter from school and he was her mentor. I see this as a parental issue. As a parent, I would want to know more about this man before I let him have access to my 14 year old daughter or son. I'm not defending Mr. Davis, but I also wish the parents had of been more cautious.

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carter1971 12 months ago

@ Parent you make a very valid point. I think people really trusted mr.oneal for the simple fact that he was supposed to be a man of GOD ( a preacher). Looks can really be deceiving and I think it is just sad that he would prey on little teenage girls that were already trying to redeem themselves. Basically, you never know who is in the classroom with our children and I feel DCSS do need to take more precautions even if it means that parents have to have background checks to volunteer. Personally, with the way society is today I would never have a man picking my daughter up from school so some of it is the parent fault. I do feel sadden that the principal had to learn a painful lesson.

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Color has nothing to do with it. Thats a ignorant response . I like any principal/teacher trying to do the right thing. Mr. JERRY CLARK was white Principal at Albany Junior High years ago and he was good and fair. I thought he was great! Right is right.....wrong is wrong...Davis was wrong and that has been established. However.....you dont have to sensationalize the story or lie. The incident didnt even happen at school.....so why say that?

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Somebody 12 months ago

That is a lie, color has everything to do with it when it comes to you.

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VSU 12 months ago

I don't think it shoud matter where he did it. fact is he did it. If her parents gave permission is irrelevant as he shouldn't have been allowed to be a volunteer at the school in the first place.

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FryarTuk 12 months ago

The point is well made. Of course, I agree the parents have used poor judgment in allowing their daughter to go with this man but the problem is he has the DCSS good house keeping seal of approval where he has maintained a mentoring relationship with his victim. No body gets a pass on this one and it is certainly more than slipping through the crack. Moseley has done right and the principal will just have to face accountability. I just see a lot of disaster here. Children's lives and worlds are framed by the adults that control and define their reality. The adults, parents, teachers, preachers, coaches, principals all have to accept the importance of why they are there and what they are doing. For too long the DCSS, including the School Board and Administrators have been estranged from consciousness of responsibility to the students. It is just so obvious. Appropriately, Moseley and the board currently are regenerating the roles to be client centered.

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jglass 12 months ago

GOOD GRIEF!!!! VSU, short and sweet and well said!!!! GOODNESS!!!

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

I think BSR's thinking has wound down. Where is Dorothy when you need her?

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

The proof is in the pudding. Check Terry's record against the DCSS.....I made my case, and I am right.......thank you very much.......and have a great day.....

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

No evidence is needed to support the opinions of the self-deluded. No amount of contrary evidence will sway him from his cherished opinion. The waitress said to the complaining customer, "I don't care if everyone else calls them peaches, I call them apples! So, that's apple pie, just like you ordered!"

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Terry.Lewis 12 months ago

It reminds me of a line from "Bull Durham," when Annie Savoy said, "the world is made for those who are not cursed with self-awareness."

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Parent 12 months ago

I can agree with you on the fact that Terry Lewis does capture all the negative stories on the DCSS. I see so many POSITIVE stories every week that come out of the DCSS that students and teachers have done. I often wonder why those stories never make the Herald? I guess people feed more on the drama than the good. My opinion.

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

Not to defend Terry, for he has humbled me in the past (I'm almost over it), but I believe he is tasked with covering the DCSS. He does not create the stories, he covers them. The amount of coverage should reflect the significance of the event. Due to economics, papers are shrinking their publications, which leaves little room for the good things that occur within a community. It has long been recognized that, while we enjoy the feel good stories, conflict, disaster and oddities are more likely to capture our attention and separate us from our coins.

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agirl_25 12 months ago

I agree gotanyfacts. Terry does cover the stories and I believe the ones he covers about the DCSS are the ones the majority want to know about. As far as parent's statement about the good news that comes from the school system, I don't think that there are as many people interested in that type story. I know they never have interested me, still don't so I never read them.

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FryarTuk 12 months ago

I have said it before and I will say it again, the AH has done an excellent job on reporting on DCSS. Terry has carried a lot of the load very effectively.

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

I agree "Parent" , Terry knows good stories about the kids does not sell enough papers. So, he focuses on the negative side to stir the pot and start some "stuff".....if you know what I mean. This is not the herald of the 80's anymore.....its all about scandal and gutter reporting.....

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

BSR... Did you understand why Terry did not lie in the initial article?

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

did you read the first article nut????? Do I need to paste it for you??? Are you blind????

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

BSR... You never seem to respond to the points which make your accusations invalid. Do you lack the ability to comprehend the definition of a lie and then apply it to the article? Let me help you. A factual error is not a lie unless the person making the statement knew it to be false for the purpose of deceiving someone. Your only avenue in defense of your claim is to give evidence that Terry knew, at the time the article was written, the incident did not occur on campus. Either present an argument to explain why the error rises to the level of a lie, or I will understand that you can not do so. ...Sincerely, Gotanyfacts... AKA nut

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

your attempt to put a spin on Terry's incompetence is amazing.....did he pay you off too?????

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Notice what Terry says about where the incident happened.....

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MRKIA 12 months ago

HAD MR. DAVIS NOT ALLOWED ANYONE ACCESS TO THE SCHOOL AND IT'S STUDENTS BEFORE PERFORMING BACKGROUND CHECKS REQUIRED BY DCSS POLICY TERRY WOULD NOT HAVE A STORY TO WRITE. READ THIS 100 TIMES. IF YOU STILL DON'T GET IT, REPEAT.

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

he still didnt have to lie......write that 100 times on your forehead!!

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

BSR... I assume you have made statements in your past that you believed to be true but were incorrect (false). Were you lying? Does that make you a liar?

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MRKIA 12 months ago

WHAT TERRY REPORTED WAS AFTER THE FACT DAMN IT! GO SOMEWHERE WITH YOUR SCREWED UP CIRCULAR LOGIC. JOHN I DROPPED THE BALL AND HAS TO PAY THE PRICE. YOU NEED TO GET BEHIND THE CLEANUP AND THE UPHOLDING OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF DCSS EMPLOYEES. TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS EXPECTED. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THIS.

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MRKIA 12 months ago

BTW: MR. DAVIS WAS NOT SUSPENDED DUE TO ANYTHING TERRY REPORTED.

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Smear campaigns by the education editor is shameful....his false reporting played a significant role in his suspension due to the undue pressure by outside forces who believed his story to be 100% correct without hearing the facts.......

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MRKIA 12 months ago

WHAT ROLE DID DISREGARD FOR POLICY PLAY?

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

"...his false reporting played a significant role in his suspension due to the undue pressure by outside forces..." Which story BSR? In your deluded world, are you imagining Mosely reading the first article, ignoring the correction regarding location in the second article (wonder why the evil Terry did not keep up his "lie"), spending the extra time before succumbing to the influence, "sleeping" with said first article clutched in his hand as a mysterious force etches "12 day suspension" into his brain.

You are definitely a piece of work! Please don't ever admit that you created your persona just to see what reactions your harebrained comments will produce. It would really take the fun out of responding to them!

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Terry lied......case closed......He cant sell papers without the "sensationalism and exaggeration"......and you are too stupid to know the difference!

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gotanyfacts 12 months ago

:))))).
Can't argue the point, can you? You think you have proved your point by simply saying it's so, can not grasp the difference between reporting the information given which turns out to be incorrect and a deliberate false statement and call someone else they are stupid!

I see the best you have. It's not much!

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

There is nothing to argue.....see, when a person says something that is not true, that is called a "lie"......ask your moma if you dont believe me!!

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gotanyfacts 11 months, 4 weeks ago

So, if your momma told your papa that there was a slice of peach pie in the fridge, not knowing you had decided you needed an extra helping, she would be telling a lie? And, she would not distinguish between her lie and the one you told when you told her you didn't eat that second slice of pie? Uh-huh!

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rorschach 12 months ago

I can imagine that Dr. Davis knew O'neal and has known him for a while. He probably knew him as a decent God fearing man because that's the persona O'Neal revealed to him and probably many others. I can see how O'Neal could have manuevered himself into a position of trustworthiness with Dr. Davis because more than likely they met in a social setting away from Dr. Davis' job of school Principal. With that being said, Dr. Davis knows he was wrong for not requesting a background check and Mr. Mosley did the right thing by suspending him. This incident is indeed very serious, but it doesn't represent the full body of work of Dr. Davis in education.

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bubbasmithredneck 12 months ago

Good point rorschach.........I never said it wasnt serious, because it was...However, Dr. Davis was tricked. O'Neal was probably bought off by somebody trying to make a name for themselves. You never know.....but you are right about one thing......this incident does not reflect the complete body of work by a such a great man in our community.

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bubbasmithredneck 11 months, 3 weeks ago

its still a shame this newspaper gave the criminal a pass.....and focused its attention on the Principal......thats why nobody is advertising is this paper. This paper is so thin, you can slice bread with it.....lol

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