School & District Management

Mississippi Superintendent Fired in Connection to Handling of Student Abuse Case

By Denisa R. Superville — December 05, 2016 1 min read
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The Greenville, Miss., superintendent has been fired, allegedly in connection with his handling of a case involving a teacher who pulled a special education student by her hair across a gymnasium, according to the Associated Press.

On Friday, the board said that it was firing Superintendent Leeson Taylor immediately and had turned down his appeal to keep his job.

The district said that recent events, referring to the October incident, “have raised concerns among the public about the district’s ability to properly safeguard students.”

Taylor was put on paid leave in October when a video emerged showing a teacher pulling a special education student across the gym floor at Greenville High School.

Taylor was to appear before the school board on Nov. 29 to explain his handling of the incident, according to Mississippi Today. Among the questions that the board had was whether Taylor notified the board in a timely manner.

State law requires that incidents of child abuse be reported within 10 days, the paper said.

The teacher involved in the incident, Linda Winters-Johnson, has been fired, and she was indicted in late November on a misdemeanor charge of abusing a vulnerable person, the AP said.

The state could also revoke or suspend Winters-Johnson’s educator license. She is scheduled for a Dec. 7 hearing before the state Board of Education, according to the AP.

Taylor’s lawyer told the Associated Press that the school board was attempting to create an impression that it was kept in the dark about the incident until the video went viral.

“That’s just not true,” the attorney, Brandon Dorsey told the news agency. He said Taylor might sue the school board.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.