Houston County Board of Education meeting

Houston County residents packed the Houston County Board of Education meeting on Nov. 18.

Several Ashford teachers will have their day before the Houston County Board of Education at its next scheduled work session Dec. 9.

Houston County Superintendent David Sewell placed several Ashford High School teachers on paid administrative leave Monday after a student screen-recorded and subsequently leaked private texts from a teacher’s phone in a group chat titled “Bad A Bs” to friends. Central office staffers, including Sewell, conducted an investigation and deemed allegations against the teachers credible.

The Dothan Eagle has decided not to release the names of the teachers involved in the group message at this time.

In the leaked messages, made public on social media, six teachers commented on students’ sex lives and intelligence, and referred to one student with the n-word in one instance.

On Monday night, the Houston County Board of Education — without board member Chris Lasseter — met in a brief executive session to “indirectly” discuss the case, but it took no action, opting to allow the investigation to continue.

Their personnel hearings were originally scheduled for Wednesday, but were delayed by Sewell to allow more time for their defense, representatives from the Alabama Education Association, to prepare.

Early Friday, Sewell said the hearing has been postponed to Dec. 9 and will take place in the central office boardroom after the board’s scheduled work session at 5 p.m.

The teachers will remain on paid leave until then.

According to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the student who leaked the messages is not facing criminal charges. Sewell declined to comment on whether the student was disciplined by school administrators.

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