Atlanta educators accused of sexual behavior with students weren't state-certified

After four educators at a single Atlanta high school were accused last school year of sexual behavior involving students, Atlanta Public Schools quickly moved to fire those who didn’t immediately resign.

But two of those educators shouldn’t have been working in Douglass High School at all: They didn’t have the licenses required under state law to work with students, according to state records.

Last school year, as part of a “large scale review and reorganization” of APS’ human resources department, the district checked the certification requirements for all district employees, APS spokesman James Malone said.

“Any employee found not to have the proper certification required for his or her job was notified of the discrepancy and what was needed to satisfy the state’s requirement. Employees were also notified that having the proper certification was a condition of employment with Atlanta Public Schools,” he said.

The accusations against the Douglass educators — two teachers, an in-school suspension monitor and a tutor — vary.

The tutor was accused of habitually staring at girls’ buttocks, so much that several students reported it made them uncomfortable. He denied the charges to district investigators.

The suspension monitor was accused of groping a student; he denied the allegations, which were not corroborated by witnesses.

One of the teachers was accused of putting his hand down a student’s pants. He told district investigators he put his hand in the student’s pocket to remit money.

The other teacher was accused of sexting with a student, pushing a female student in the chest, and cursing in class. He told investigators he was not unethical in his classroom practices, but said he did have a “different relationship” with his students.

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