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Teacher suspended for improper search

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Georgia Professional Standards Commission last week suspended Sylvester Road Elementary teacher Deborah Flood for 15 days without pay for not having a witness present when she searched a student.

According to a PSC suspension report, the Dougherty County School System filed a complaint last year with the PSC alleging that Flood had conducted a physical search of "a mildly autistic kindergarten student's genital area without a witness or making an administrator aware of a situation that required a physical search of a student."

The PSC's findings of fact stated (Flood) noticed a student "walking in a funny manner" and took the student to the restroom. Several witnesses corroborated that (Flood) admitted to checking the student by "pulling the student's shorts down and touching her inner thighs, the back of her legs and lower bottom area."

Flood was reassigned to another school and is currently serving her suspension, which runs from March 4 to March 25 and has a second disciplinary hearing Friday at 10 a.m. before the Dougherty School Board.

Flood's attorney, Howard Stiller, said Wednesday that he regards the second hearing "as patently unfair and it appears the school system is trying to take a second bite of the apple."

Stiller added that he may file suit to stop the board hearing.

Comments

AuntieDee 1 year, 1 month ago

The alarms are blasting on this one!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 1 month ago

Do we have any current or former special ed teachers here? Is there any reason she would have done this instead of following protocol? What was she trying to find or prove if she was just doing here job?

I hate jumping to conclusions, but this one seems tough to explain away as an honest mistake.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 1 month ago

Dang Ruby...This is all you have to say? You've got a live one here. I expected more from you. You're slipping.

WALB reported that she has other violations in her file.

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tknotty 1 year, 1 month ago

IS THIS THE SAME FLOOD FROM THE CRCT CHEATING SCAM ??????? W T HACK

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waltspecht 1 year, 1 month ago

Seems it takes an outside agency to find real fault within the DCSS. DCSS is evidently incapable of handling it's problems correctly on oh so many venues. Say, have they returned any bail money to a misbehaving child's parents lately? Or how about replacing stolen instruments for the selected few? What are those Saturday Academy Teachers going to do for walking around money now that it has been stopped, and exposed for the failure it was? Maybe somethings get hidden, even covered up, but the stories are still out there for someone willing to dig. There is a lot more going on than has been exposed, or there are too many people talking too much.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

I hope this was referred to the DA's office for review. Touching in the eros zones are considered sexual assault. The prosecutor's office will know how to handle this and I trust has. The parents of the child have a legitimate complaint if it has not been reviewed by DA and they have a legitimate complaint for filing suit against DCSS for the physical (sexual abuse). Bro. Stiller, there may be more bites left in the apple than your client wishes.

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RedEric 1 year, 1 month ago

Kind of like what is happening with federal government. We trusted our government for to long and to well. They took advantage of it and imposed their own value system. Nationally and locally the value system seems to be on the crooked side. Stealing from the tax paying citizens has become a reward. A word of warning to thieving politicians and bureaucrats, when the tax paying citizens get angry nobody can create more damage.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 1 month ago

Teachers in the DCSS need to be aware of the different ways they can get caught up in some B.S these days. People are out for blood and they are targets......This is another tragedy that all need to learn from.

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Bulldawg 1 year, 1 month ago

So Flood's attorney thinks the hearing was "unfair." Well, guess what, life isn't fair. Flood should have had a witness present plain and simple. I guess she thinks the rules do not apply to her. DCSS should be ready for another suit from the child's parents.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

This incident has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with B. S., nothing to do with targets. This has to do with the safety of a child. Teachers are instructed on procedures to insure the safety of a child. When they are not followed it is in the service of a purpose. What is the purpose? It is for legal authorities to determine. The moment the line was crossed it ceased to be an ethical/professional issue and crossed into legal/criminal which only the justice investigation is competent to address. Keep the focus on the child. That's why DCSS has been dysfunctional. It has been all about the money grubbers.

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Gollygee 1 year, 1 month ago

"Saw the student walking in a funny manner". This was, as the article stated, a mildly autistic kindergartner. What was the teacher thinking she would find...., a gun, a bomb, a wedgie? I highly doubt there was a reason to search this student, much less pull her pants down AND TOUCH HER. This teacher got off lightly. I hope she's fired and the parents sue the hell out of her. If this teacher were a man this would have already happened and he would be in jail filling out his sex-offender registration forms.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 1 month ago

Maybe she was thinking the child was sexually assaulted......SHE (AS ARE ALL TEACHERS) a mandated reporter. However, there are rules and regulations that she did not follow. She should have reported it to a person of higher authority and let them deal with it...... Let’s not be so quick to judge her because of her ignorance…..

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 1 month ago

ignorance.........?? How many times has she had this subject covered in the in-service days? What's her degree level? Masters? Doctorate?

Did somebody not write on a 3x5 card and personally hand it to her saying a teacher may not touch a student's privates? You people are ridiculous!

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AuntieDee 1 year, 1 month ago

There is no degree level of ignorance. You're absolutely right Ruby. There are special meetings held every year in every school with a real lawyer present to review the code of ethics. There is absolutely NO excuse for this.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 1 month ago

and you know this how????????

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AuntieDee 1 year, 1 month ago

They are required to by Public School law. It's public information. Look it up.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

AuntieDee you are right! Schools publish and promote the procedures as well. It is also just common sense.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

Doesn't matter what she thought. The rule is basic in every child care organization in the USA. Do not be alone with a child in a physical situation and absolutely do not touch a child in private zones. I certainly hope she doesn't use your supplied reason, that would subject her to even more complaints since she is not trained to handle those circumstances. Show some concern for the child. What the hell are you thinking? Get this to the prosecutor's office. I personally intend to call them and ask them to investigate. I have an obligation as a citizen as do you and everybody who has been made aware of this. Show some concern for this child!

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WeAreThey 1 year, 1 month ago

This isn't going to be a popular post but I'm saying it anyway. Firstly, please note that this was a 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 year old kid. Children that age will still 'mess their pants' and certainly 'walk funny' when they do. We expect teachers to be babysitters. If the kid had a history of 'messy pants', the search was probably warranted. If the child had soiled herself and the teacher had ignored it, someone would have complained and claimed 'neglect' or 'cruelty'. Secondly, had the child been sexually abused, at home, she may have been forced to 'walk funny'. Had the teacher ignored that, she would have been criminally charged. Thirdly, the teacher admitted what had occurred, i.e., the truth was told. Since there were no witnesses, she simply could have denied it. Finally, please note that the article says that the teacher violated procedure, i.e., she put the school system at risk of being sued. Had there been any evidence of a crime, does anyone truly believe our current school board or interim superintendent would actually cover it up? I don't even know this woman and I am certainly not a teacher but the Court of Public Opinion posted here isn't any better than the trolls you so regularly call out.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

You are supplying/manufacturing a lot of information. Your post is absent a lot of reason and any concern for the child! If teacher thinks child has gone potty. By all means have a witness. STANDARD RULE, BASIC SELF PROTECTION FOR ADULT. If she touched that child between the legs or on the buttocks or on the inner thighs or genitalia she has violated the law. She is not a medical person and has no training to examine for body assault which has to be left to an expert. You are not thinking of the child. That has been a central problem with the DCSS and you people defending the conduct of this teacher are contributors. You never spoke up for them.

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WeAreThey 1 year, 1 month ago

Just helping the Herald do their job, man. Perhaps you and I, both, should have watched WALB and then we'd know a fact that Mr. Lewis failed to report - that the School System is following procedures to terminate this teacher. Then I'd have said the school system administration was doing their jobs and they did it all without the help of the Court of Public Opinion. And you could have trotted out your usual moral and intellectual superiority on some other subject not already addressed and resolved by the paid professionals.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

Begin with the child. When do you show concern for the child? This is about basics not superior intellect or superior morals. This is simple unadorned basic reason and concern. When do you show concern for the child? The law is clear. Why are you resistant to attend the child and only focus on the adult? Are children treated like animals where you are from? This is why DCSS has degenerated, the concern for the student has been subordinated to obscurity. If the school administrators had been doing their jobs we would be reading about a referral of the incident to law enforcement.

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AuntieDee 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow, this is outrageous. In this situation, I would have taken the child to the office before I investigated anything underneath her clothing. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Teachers are held to a code of ethics that says this is absolutely a "NO-NO" !

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cleanup 1 year, 1 month ago

IF THE CHILD COULD TALK , WHY DIDN'T SHE JUST ASKED THE CHILD WHAT,,, WRONG OR MAYBE USE A LITTLE GESTURE , I WORK WITH SOME AUTISTIC CHILDERN AND THEY ARE PRETTY...... SMART........... REMEMBER ASKED BEFORE YOU TOUCH ...........

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 1 month ago

I think most of us are friends on this particular topic.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 1 month ago

Assuming we are on the same page about notifying the prosecutor's office about this incident and following the basic rules of human respect and decency. Defending or rationaling the behavior of this teacher is reprehensible.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 1 month ago

This teacher just screwed up......thats all.....she screwed up.........what else can be said?

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 1 month ago

How about this? From the GaDOE CRCT Cheating Report:

"We further conclude that Deborah Flood cheated on the 2009 CRCT, and likely the 2010 CRCT as well. Verona Fitzhugh stated that she witnessed Flood cheating on a test, and while Fitzhugh is not certain it was the CRCT, that witness account combined with Flood’s statistically improbable WTR erasures in 2010, lead us to conclude that Flood likely cheated on the CRCT in 2010."

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Merlin 1 year, 1 month ago

She screwed up enough to be fired.

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WTFwtf 1 year, 1 month ago

Im betting were looking at an overly litigious parent here. I hope im right. Why was the term mildly autistic used? Seems lawyerly.

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