Several Ashford teachers remain suspended after some inappropriate comments they made in a group chat were leaked, but a final decision in their cases could occur soon.
Members of the public addressed the Houston County Board of Education during a regular meeting Monday night, which included an executive session to “indirectly” discuss the Ashford situation, Houston County Schools Superintendent David Sewell said.
Last week, an Ashford student accessed messages from a teacher group chat that discussed students’ sex lives and even used a racial slur and posted them to social media.
One woman at the meeting asked Sewell when the public could expect a resolution to the situation, and Sewell said the board plans to convene another meeting with an executive session Wednesday at 5 p.m.
“We have been in contact with attorneys on the local and state level,” he said. “We continue to investigate.”
Jimmy Weems, who described himself as a “proud graduate” of Ashford High School, chided the board for what he deemed as inaction.
“To sweep this under the rug — and you may not be doing that — it looks that way to me,” he said. “Whose hands are we turning our kids over to? We’re concerned about pedophiles … then to have teachers behave this way? Is that what we’ve stooped to? This is disturbing.”
“The teachers are due a right to due process,” Sewell answered. “I share your concerns.”
Sewell said Monday’s executive session, which lasted roughly 45 minutes, occurred to ensure the teachers’ rights were protected during the investigation and with any decision the board makes. He said the board could choose to suspend the teachers without pay, terminate them or reinstate them from the current suspension Sewell levied Friday after he discovered the allegations made were credible.
The teachers will have a right to appeal any decision in a hearing before the board, Sewell said.