Jeff. Co. teacher returning to work after investigation

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An elementary school teacher in Jefferson County is going back to work in another position following an investigation, according information from the director of schools.

On August 12, Director Shane Johnston confirmed that a teacher involved in an "incident" that occurred on Aug. 9 at Talbott Elementary School was suspended.

The teacher was suspended for three days and was transferred to another position at Jefferson Academy Alternative School.

Johnston released a letter sent to the teacher in question about the incident. According to the letter, the teacher self-reported the incident to the school's principal, claiming the teacher "had become impatient with a student and pushed a chair across the classroom. The chair broke, and one of its pieces reportedly struck another child." According to the letter, investigators later found out that none of the pieces hit a child.

Upon further investigation, Johnston said officials learned that "chair fragments did not actually strike another child."

"The principal contacted the mother of this child and was advised by the mother that her child had been unnecessarily dramatic when describing the events...and that her child was not struck," the release continued.

"Accordingly, we have concluded that the incident in your classroom...was less serious than we had initially believed. Nevertheless, we note that this incident was caused by your having lost your composure while dealing with a student." The letter states that, after the incident, the teacher reported the incident and also offered to resign.

"You are a master teacher who has consistently demonstrated excellent classroom management skills. Indeed, I believe you fully appreciate the magnitude of your misconduct," the letter said.

The letter said the teacher was suspended for three days, August 12, 13 and 14, without pay. "Because you have taken this matter so seriously, and in view of your excellent work history, I firmly believe that you are not likely to commit this sort of infraction in the future."

The letter continued to say, however, that Johnston did not believe the teacher was a good idea and instead transferred the teacher to a position at the Jefferson Academy Alternative School for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

"I will consider reassigning you to an elementary position at the start of the 2020-2021 school year," Johnston said.

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