Bibb Superintendent addresses recent school investigations
MACON, Ga. -- In the 25-day span from Nov. 7 through Dec. 1, there were five reported incidents in Bibb County schools that required an investigation.
Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones said earlier this week, he called in the principals of the schools to discuss exactly what is going on in the school system.
Jones said he believes there have been more incidents because students are telling parents about them and then parents tell the school system. He said he's grateful for that so the school system can investigate.
Four of those investigations were assisted by outside organizations.
In instances where students are harmed, the school system contacts the Bibb County Sheriff's Office and the Division of Family and Children Services, according to Jones.
"If somebody does something that is going to cause physical harm to the student to a certain degree, we involve law enforcement," Jones said.
On Nov. 21, a Heritage Elementary teacher was charged with three counts of child cruelty for reportedly striking children with a pointer. On Nov. 27, a Ballard Hudson teacher was placed on paid leave for a "possible incident" with a student. On Dec. 1, a Central High teacher was arrested for having child pornography on his computer.
Jones said he believes it's extremely important to hire people of character and the school system will use those cases as learning opportunities to do a better job at vetting potential employees.
"We'll use it to make sure we do a better job in hiring and make sure the people we hire that we do a great job at vetting and looking into their backgrounds," Jones said. "So a google search. Know what's out there. And then ensure when we do offer a position it's one we can be proud of."
Jones said the number of issues within the school system have increased lately and if the trend continues to grow, he needs to stop it.
"It gives me cause," Jones said. "I've shared with the principals in some ways this is my fault. I have not been able to keep our focus on our values."
He encourages both students and parents to speak up as soon as they hear about an incident or have any concerns. Jones said he wants parents to trust the school system and promises to be transparent with them.