DeKalb educator pleads not guilty to fraud charges

The former principal of DeKalb County’s Rock Chapel Elementary School accused of criminal fraud is claiming that her statements to investigators were compelled and therefore inadmissible.

Angela Jennings is accused of removing students temporarily from electronic enrollment records so their 2010 state test scores wouldn’t count against the school’s averages. She was arraigned Monday and pleaded not guilty. Also on Monday, her attorney, Stephen Roberts, filed a motion for dismissal claiming Jennings’ constitutional rights against compelled self-incrimination were violated during the investigative process. Educators in Atlanta’s test-cheating case have made a similar argument.

Roberts told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that DeKalb school investigators “basically said you can resign or we’ll take you before the school board for a hearing. So who wouldn’t give a statement?” DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey scheduled the next court date for Aug. 5.