State releases preliminary report on sexual misconduct at Selma schools

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A preliminary report has been released in an investigation into the Selma City Schools.

The Alabama Department of Education conducted an investigation into the governance and accountability concerns on reports of sexual misconduct in the school district.

The preliminary investigation revealed evidence of significant and longstanding sexual misconduct on the part of at least one school employee. Selma High School teacher Latengela Williams was indicted on four counts of inappropriate sexual relationships with students in June.

It also uncovered evidence of noncompliance with requirements, standards and protocols governing instructional activities, standardized testing, graduation requirements and other state and federal guidelines.

Here is a list of findings:

  1. Failure to adequately report and investigate allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior.
  2. Failure to follow and enforce state and local policies regarding graduation requirement and the awarding of academic course credit.
  3. Failure to follow state policies regarding standardized testing procedures.
  4. Disregard for instructional time, school lunch program requirements, and financial accounting guidelines.
  5. Other miscellaneous concerns (regarding racial insensitivity)

This investigation stems from previous complaints and requests from members of the community as well as community leaders and education officials.

In a letter to Selma City Schools, the State Board gave school officials 21 days to submit a formal response to this report, but say more immediate corrective action may be required.

Superintendent Gerald Shirley was unavailable for comment.

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