Speller was terminated by Toledo Public Schools in Ohio for several infractions, including physically assaulting students, including twisting their arms, putting them in a headlock, and pushing them against walls.
DeKalb Board of Education member Stan Jester said Meeks-Speller’s hiring sheds light on problems with the district’s hiring practices and procedures, as Meeks-Speller’s past problems should have been easily — and quickly — discovered.
"This is demonstrable proof that (the) human capital management department remains an obstacle to the academic success of the district," he said. "Compared to other nearby districts, DeKalb's hiring processes are done too late and are too centralized, while lacking careful vetting procedures."
A Google search for Meeks-Speller's name includes stories from Ohio publications regarding her suspension and subsequent termination, as well as court records from a lawsuit she filed suing Toledo Public Schools for $3 million.
Toledo Public Schools officials said the district reported Meeks-Speller to the Ohio Department of Education for the misconduct infractions. Officials from the Ohio Department of Education have not responded to questions about whether they investigated the claims. Meeks-Speller is still licensed to teach in Ohio, which allowed her to get subsequent jobs in Columbus, Ohio, and with DeKalb Schools.
Meanwhile, the district continues having issues hiring for teachers, with nearly 50 vacancies as of the last reporting earlier this month.