- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Leeson Taylor II will get a chance to plead his case before the school board.

The Delta Democrat-Times (https://bit.ly/2fd37DK) reports the school board voted Thursday to allow Taylor, who has been on paid leave since Oct. 13, to explain his response to a teacher dragging a student by her hair across the floor.

Board President Loretta Shannon says Taylor didn’t explain how bad the incident was until the videos had been viewed millions of times.

“When something happens, usually you would tell somebody right away,” Shannon said. “Well, we got a notice, but the severity of it was not provided to the board. And that didn’t happen until the video came out on Facebook.”

The school district fired Linda Winters-Johnson after videos were posted to Facebook showing her dragging a special education student across a gym floor and striking the student with a cup on Sept 21. The board has also disciplined an unnamed second employee. Board members hired an outside lawyer to investigate what happened, and she provided a 96-page report.

The board could fire Taylor.

“We want to be sure we are doing the right thing,” Shannon said. “When you do investigations, sometimes it’s hard to catch up with the people you need to investigate. We think we just about have it and we will make some decisions after the 29th.”

Washington County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson has said he intends to pursue criminal charges against Winters-Johnson. The Mississippi Department of Education has filed administrative charges, and a Dec. 7 hearing is set on revoking her teaching license.

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Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, https://www.ddtonline.com


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