Former Selma teacher reports to jail
SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Former Selma High School teacher LaTangela Williams reported to the Dallas County Jail around 7:30 Friday night to begin serving her 14-month sentence.
Williams pleaded guilty on April 4 to a felony and misdemeanor for having sexual relations with two students.
As part of the plea deal, Williams will spend 14 months in jail and will have three years of probation. She is also required to seek counseling, must register as a sex offender and can no longer teach.
It was Williams' case that launched a state investigation last fall that eventually led to a state take-over of the Selma City School District. During the investigation, investigators uncovered evidence of major academic issues at Selma High School. As a result three central office administrators including superintendent Gerald Shirley were put on leave with pay.
When reached for comment on the plea, Larry DiChiara, who is acting as the chief administrative officer and acting superintendent of the school system under the state's takeover, issued the following statement:
"While I am pleased with the outcome, Ms. Williams is very fortunate to receive the sentence that she received. When I heard the outcome, my heart went immediately to those students who were the victims of her actions while under her care. That is where my thoughts are today. In addition to the sentence, based on the criminal charges and her plea of guilt, she will also have her teaching certificate revoked and never be able to work with children again in our schools. It is my hope that this verdict sends a strong message to anybody who is entrusted with our children that this kind of behavior will never again be tolerated."
Williams was formally fired Thursday night, and her teaching certificate has been forever revoked.
District attorney Michael Jackson says if Williams violates any part of her probation she will then be ordered to complete her suspended sentence of 10 years in prison.
LaTangela Williams declined to answer WSFA 12 News' questions or give her side of the story throughout the legal process.
Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.